I'm studying Korean like crazy these days. The book I'm using is Talk to Me In Korean, which is based podcasts and what not. Anyway one of my instruction was to write a story so that I can remember when I need to use some words. And then I got to thinking, I can kill two birds with one writing assignment: learn Korean and blog.
죄송합니다 means I'm sorry but it can also me excuse me. It has other uses. Anyway, a long time ago I was in Seoul during rush hour. I had heard a rumor that they pushed people onto the subway cars. It turned out to be true. Officials stood against the wall with a large piece of ply wood. it had handles like a shield and when it came time to get on they stepped forward pressing the crowd onto the cars. Knowing what I now know about 죄송합니다 I probably heard it a lot that day.
"죄송합니다, 잔깐만요, 잠시만요." Excuse me, excuse me and.... Excuse me. But maybe I just heard. "죄송합니다" (I'm sorry I rammed my elbow into your ribs) Perhaps the tall young Koreans peered down at the little old 아줌마 and said, "죄송합니다" (I'm sorry that my book bag whacked you upside the head.)
Later that day I was at a restaurant in Korea and I wanted to get the waiters attention so I rang the bell at the table even when the 아줌마 was nearby. If had known 자기요 I could have called her over and gotten fewer dirty looks.