Monday, February 23, 2009

넌 어디에서 왔니?

on the subway in seoul

Sometimes, when I'm confused and looking for the right exit in the subway station, or asking the cashier, "what exactly did you ask me just now? oh, I have to put in my phone number to get a receipt?", AKA getting confused and asking twice about things a Korean person could do in their sleep, I feel incredibly foreign in a land where, for the most part, I feel ridiculously comfortable in. It's an extreme thought, but sometimes I wish I looked a little non-Korean, or spoke broken Korean for the sake of having an excuse for not knowing certain norms.

I look Korean, I speak like a native, but oh wait, what? How could you not know that you're supposed to put your towel over there before you go into the bath house? I mean, DUH.

Feeling so foreign yet belonging at the same time. It's an interesting and might I say exclusive experience. My stay in Korea has definitely reaffirmed the fact that I am Korean-American. I am too American to be only Korean and too Korean (and ridiculously proud of it) to be simply American.

In the meantime I will continue being a little bit awkward, a little bit slow, but still the highly adaptive creature that I have always been.