More Thoughts on Korean Large Scale Industry

I have been here 11 full days now and finally I think I am over the jetlag. No longer are my eyes slowly closing and my head dropping as early as 9.30pm. Now I can last till after 11pm. Haha…fully recovered.

It is true what they say. It takes at least one day per hour of time difference to completely recover from such jetlag. Especially when you are getting up early to go into work.

The Mass Commute…

I take a small shuttle bus from the hotel direct to the support building I am based at. Every morning between 7 & 8am I see so many thousands of workers pour into the shipyard. After a day’s work they all tend to leave at the same time – about 6pm

At these times the place is like a huge bus station with coaches and minibuses everywhere. Many more use bicycles. The hundreds of buses and thousands of cyclists create a scene of inner city traffic chaos; all inside the confines of the shipyard gates.

The whole rush hour periods are conducted by security/traffic controllers standing in the middle of the roads with whistles, flashing sticks and uniforms complete with white helmets. They struggle to control it and much of the chaos just rolls by them.

Shipbuilding on this scale…

The multiple car parks that are dotted around the site are never even half full.

It got me thinking. If a country like the UK wanted to try and revive its shipbuilding industry to even half of this scale nobody would have any time to do any work. Everyone would drive and the traffic jams would be horrendous. By the time they all got to work it would be time to leave and then they would endure a second jam in the opposite direction. It would be completely unworkable.

The same would be true in any other European country. Spain; certainly.

Then I realised that back in the days when the UK had a busy shipbuilding industry nobody really owned a car. Certainly not the working classes. It would have been much like this place now. Everyone commuting in and out of work on buses and bicycles.

In some ways the car has killed any chance of a revival in industries on this scale.

Meanwhile…

I have been joined by two colleagues who arrived late last Thursday. While I have recovered from the jetlag they are exactly where I was just over a week ago. I know the feeling…

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