Queen V Chronicles

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Day 3- Over Night Celebrity in Korea?

Its day 3 in South Korea and I am beginning to notice a pattern. I am drawing much attention to myself without even trying. When I am out-and-about I am usually with my Latina roommate, Mari, and my Vietnamese next door neighbor, Hue. No matter where we go, random people seem to flock to me. Lets use todays events as an example, shall we…

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First example: Today, my school had planned a wonderful and insightful Korean cultural presentation, and afterwards we all had the chance to come up on stage and try on traditional Korean Clothing. My friends and I (and the rest of the student body) got on stage, the staff helped us get into the gowns.  As soon as the staffer tied on my bow, it was as if the  whole room stopped and stared at me, you could hear jaws drop. At that moment many people start taking out their smart phones and start taking photos of me, all of a sudden there is a TV camera in front of my face, and a reporter passing me a microphone. I quickly sign the waiver form, stating that I consent to be recorded and she asked me two simple questions. “How does it feel to wear traditional Korean clothing?” and “ How does traditional Korean clothing differ from what you wear in your home country?” I am shocked and unprepared because I was put on the spot, so I simply told her  that it was an “absolute honor to wear this traditional clothing, and back at home I wear nothing but jeans and t-shirts everyday.” The reporter was grateful and filled with joy when I said it was an “honor”, she thanked me and walked away. As soon as she left, three Asian girls ran up to me and said  “Oh, can you take a picture with us, you are soo pretty”. I could not believe all this attention I was getting. I was standing with my  friends, the three of us put on the outfits at the same time, but I was the only one who got interviewed, and had other random students come up to me to take a picture with them.

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Moving on to the second example: Today, my classmates and I also had a field trip at the  Gyeongbokgung Palace and the National Folk Museum of Korea. According to our tour guide, these two places are the #1 tourist destination spot for Koreans. While inside the museum, my friends and I had stopped to view an exhibit, it was displaying ancient Korean instruments, and you could pick up the display phone and actually hear the music play . Soon afterwards a group of European men come up to me and one of them asked “Come make photo with me”. I’m thinking to myself, where is Ashton Kutcher, because I know I am getting “Punked”.  And of course I take a picture with them, they thanked me and walked away. It was not until we went outside for some fresh air when I start gaining a whole bunch of attention. While outside, my friends and I were laughing and cracking jokes and I look over my shoulder and I see about 5 or 6 people taking photos in my direction. I automatically think I am in the way of whatever they are trying to take photos of, so I move out the way. One Korean man bravely comes up to me with his cell phone in my face saying something in Korean. All I understood was “ No no…. You You You”. Shocked, I looked around, only to realize that all of these people are taking photos of me. So I put my hands on my hips and I start posing and that open up the flood gates of MORE people taking photos of me, at this point my friends are on the floor laughing, then a family comes up to me and I’m taking pictures with “Grandma”, “Aunty”, “Dad” and “Mom”. I could not believe it. Where do they do this at? Once again, noone asked to take a picture of my two friends it was just me.

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Final example: As this day was winding down, Mari, Hue and I hit up this cute Korean restaurant and of course they speak no English there. So Hue orders our meal, and soon we begin dining on the deliciousness they call food. Im in complete bliss, as my food is doing somersaults in my mouth. All of a sudden an elderly Korean lady (could have been the shop owner, I don’t know) starts gently pulling and tugging my hair, and calls her friend over and they are speaking to me in Korean. You can only imagine the look on my face. I’m awkwardly smiling and trying to chew my food at the same time, nodding my head as if I knew what the heck was going on. They stopped talking and I politely said “Thank you very much”. After my friends stopped laughing, Hue tells me “She said ‘I like your hair, its different’ and the friend said ‘You are very beautiful’.”

I feel so weird, I can only imagine how many photos were taken of me since I have been here, without me knowing. Its kinda scary. In America, we consider Asian people to be very exotic, but since I am in a land full of Asians, I guess I am considered exotic to them, who knows? Never have I been so amazed, confused, and uncomfortable all at the same time. You live and you learn, huh?

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2 comments on “Day 3- Over Night Celebrity in Korea?

  1. Pingback: Day 22- The Flush of My Dreams « queenvchronicles

  2. Pingback: “Disgustingly American”- Home Bound « queenvchronicles

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This entry was posted on June 29, 2012 by in South Korea Adventures and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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