Queen V Chronicles

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Day 2- I’m an Immigrant


Since I have never left the US before, I never had to consider myself to be an immigrant. Whether you like it or not, in the US, the word “immigrant” has a negative connotation attached to it. So when I arrived at the airport trying to find the baggage claim I read many signs that said “Immigrants Go Left.” I walked past those signs saying to myself “I’m not a immigrant, where is the baggage claim?”; when in fact I WAS. Once I hit the end of the air port, I soon realized that in order to get to the baggage claim I had to go through immigration. Talk about culture shock.

Koreans consistently come up to me asking what my nationality is. Which is a weird question to answer because I am accustomed to telling people I am from Washington DC, instead I say “I am American”. As an American, I had to quickly check myself on feelings I didn’t even know I had. The whole world does not revolve around the USA and it does not have to bend over backwards to make us comfortable.

For some reason, when people speak to someone who does not speak English, they tend to raise their voice thinking that the louder they get the more they will comprehend what they are saying. Come to find out, that is a universal action. I was trying to order food at this small Korean spot called “Red Cups”. Unfortunately I do not speak a lick of Korean, this lady was raising her voice (but smiling at the same time), and I was left dumbfounded. Finally one of my classmates came to my rescue and told me that the Korean lady was saying that “the chicken was not spicy but tangy.” LOL I cant wait to start my Korean language course next week.

Have you ever raised your voice when trying to communicate with someone who speaks another language? Why do people do that?



4 comments on “Day 2- I’m an Immigrant

  1. dianeandlilytakefrance
    June 28, 2012

    The way your using immigrant for your situtation in Korea and the negative conotation attached to the word in America are very different. As an American I would say that you are not an immigrant in Korea you are a tourist. Hence the fact of why you are there on a tourist visa. Immigrants are people seeking permenant residence. Americans see them as people trying to take their jobs.

    June 28, 2012

    the reason i LOVE travelling to other countries is because it’s so refreshing to see different ways of life. many people in their own country (including, but not limited to Americans) have this misconception that the ONLY way of life is their way and that everything should be catered to their expectations. when we step outside our personal norm, we open ourselves up to possibilities and i love that. from the big things like laws and traditions to little things like the order your meal is served in or the differences in gestures, it’s nice to do something other than what you’ve done your whole life. keep the posts coming!

  3. zezil
    June 29, 2012

    Wow! Your adventure sounds exciting! Good luck with your Korean studies! Aja aja Hwaiting!

  4. Pingback: Are You Ready for Me Singapore?! | Queen V Chronicles

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2012 by in South Korea Adventures and tagged , , , , .

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