No offense to the government wanting statistics, but I am totally creeped out by Census workers, especially Korean Census workers! Only three short months ago my mom told me to ignore the Census people that showed up at my family's doorstep in California. Apparently avoiding them didn't work, because they decided to get on a plane and find my Korean apartment!
Yes, the Census is taking place in Korea for the next two weeks. The internet method took place from October 22-31, and the interview method is currently taking place from November 1-15.
Once again I tried to ignore the Census workers here in Korea. I figured that they wouldn't have an English version of the form anyway. However I quickly realized the women assigned to collect data from my apartment was never going to give up, and she came to my apartment a total of six times!
7 Reasons why Census people creep me out:
1. They always talk about some random things like your outfit or the weather, and then they finally tell you that they are working for the Census.
2. They will chase you down hallways, and wait for you to fill out questionnaires.
3. They will wait at your apartment until you arrive home.
4. They are probably watching you sleep.
5. They want to know exactly how many centimeters your apartment is. Um, I don't know the metric system because I'm a dumb American.
6. Why does it matter if I have warm running water in my apartment?
7. Is that weird little alien man on the front of the questionnaire really necessary?
5 attempts to get an English Census form:
Attempt 1: I first saw the Census ladies in the elevator. They were extremely nice to me, and complimented me on my winter coat. She mumbled something else in Korean and I couldn't understand them and said goodbye. I figured they were just some nice old ladies living on my floor or visiting someone.
Attempt 2: About fifteen minutes later I received a knock on my door. The ladies were standing outside ranting in Korean about something I could not understand. I told them again that I do not speak Korean so they finally left me alone.
Attempt 3: Three days later I received a note on my door. The sticky note looked official and had Census written in the corner. I figured out that there was a time that they would come back to talk to me about the forms.
Attempt 4: The next day a young women was in my hallway. She noticed the sticky note still on my door and chased me to my apartment. Here she handed me a paper which told me that I should fill out a Census questionnaire. I thought I was in the clear because she only had Census forms in Korean, but....
Attempt 5: About one hour later the women returned to my apartment with a Census survey book in five different languages; English was one of them. She then tried to speak English to me from a hand out but failed. She was so cute, so I looked at her paper and it had questions such as "how are you today?" and "You should participate in the 2010 Census." At the very bottom the paper read, "what time should I come back to pick up your questionnaire?" So finally I gave in, I felt terrible that the woman went through so much trouble to get me a lousy 3 page book in English. I told her to come back the next day and pick to pick it up and sure enough she did!
If you have any questions or comments about the 2010 Census in Korea please leave them in the comment box below or email them to email@example.com.
Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at firstname.lastname@example.org.