Today was a day full of new experiences…
1. A man at the bus stop walked up to me and grabbed my hair and smelled it…then tried to hold my hand to look at it and spoke to me in Korean. I just laughed as a group around me stared.
2. A man at the bus stop also walked up to me and started talking to me full speed in Korean. I again just laughed and shook my head meaning “I’m sorry I don’t speak Korean!”
3. My landlord came over today to fix my internet. He spoke absolutely zero English so we sat in silence for about 3 minutes and then he attempted to talk about my face and hair which I’d like to think were compliments. and at the end I think he asked me if I liked soju..and if so I answered yes I do. We both tried to talk to each other but even some gestures didn’t help.
4. I set up my internet with the help of google translate…google translate is AMAZING!
5. I went grocery shopping and a woman came up to me with sample noodles and sauce. She then handed them to me to eat. And then she continued to put different pastas and sauce into my basket to buy. Of course I ended up buying them all.
6. A woman came up to me and grasped my arm and whispered “Christian” and showed me a wooden cross that was hanging on her purse and she held my arm and just smiled and bowed. That was my favorite moment so far. I took a secret picture of her because for a moment I felt comfortable and she had such a kind face. One of those kind souls you randomly meet and think wow if only they knew how much that meant to me in that moment. You can see her cross hanging from her purse.
I have yet to see any other foreigners in the 48 hours I have been in Gwangju with the miles and miles I have walked. Not only other non-Korean. I stand out beyond measure with my blonde hair, blue eyes, big feet and tall body. I try to walk proud and if someone stares…which means every person…then I smile politely if I catch their eyes. I enjoy seeing someone crack a smile or not know what to do.
None of these are complaints…just all observations and it gives me much more appreciation for immigrants coming to the USA. It gives me a great perspective on life.
Can’t wait to write more later on my experiences thus far. And don’t worry I will still write about orientation!