Welcome to my world…
“Disgustingly American” is what one of my communist classmates called me after I finished my graduation speech. As I walked towards my dorm room, I heard him cry out “Hey! Mahalo!” I turned around, he says “You are so disgustingly American”. And in that moment I laughed so hard, because as an American what country am I supposed to act like? If the shoe fits I’ll wear it. In that moment, I realized that I missed my country, not just my friends and family but my COUNTRY.
This post will briefly wrap up my South Korean adventure, as I briefly break down the two countries.
Lets start off with the 2 things I will not miss about South Korea.
First: I know for a fact, that I will die of lung cancer by the amount of second hand smoke, and air pollution I inhaled over the past month. In America, they make it damn near illegal to smoke outside, so to be in an environment where it is legal to smoke at most restaurants, bars, night clubs and so forth, times that with the million Koreans that live there, my respiratory system was in over drive. Plus I hated the fact that my clothes, my hair and my money always smelled like cigarette smoke.
Second: Pedestrians DO NOT have the “right of way” in South Korea and j-walking (in my opinion) is encouraged. With that said these drivers are so reckless, always in a hurry, don’t obey the traffic lights (most times) and know exactly the width of their cars to weave in and out tight spaces. Background information: I hate flying, so whenever I fly my seat belt never comes off and I pray continuously until the stewardess comes with my food, I eat, then pray again. I have taken the cab at least 3 or 4 times in Korea, and I was praying if not more fearfully in those cabs then I do when I am on a plane. Each time, the cab driver would drive like they are in a nascar meet, which is the opposite from America because our drivers take their time so they can keep the meter running. If someone was J-walking, the driver would continue driving a crazy speed limit and honk the horn to let the people know to get out of the way. And you know what is even crazier then that, the slow Koreans walking across the street are just as fearless. These people know that the drivers here can not drive and as a pedestrian you have no right of way, so why are they strolling across the street?
Moving on to what I will miss about Korea:
First: After two weeks in South Korea, I had posted a picture of myself on Facebook and my best friend commented that I had lost some weight, which was shocking to me because I am already thin. My diet was impeccable in South Korea, and you want to know something…? I ate out for EVERY meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, mid night snack. In America, if you ate out for every meal whether it be fast food, restaurant or cafe for a month straight I highly doubt you would lose any weight. Why, because our food is full of fat, sugar, preservatives and a whole bunch of other nonsense that makes our food extremely unhealthy. I already talked about the freshness of Korean food, in a previous blog post, so its no longer shocking to me that most Koreans (and most Asian people) for that matter maintain optimal health and weight. The food is was what brought me here initially, and it is one of the things I will miss the most.
Second thing I will miss about Korea was all the attention I received. In America, no one is shocked to see a Mexican person walking down the street, or when a Japanese person walks down the street. The only person I am shocked to see walking down the street are Native Americans, why? Because its an instant reminder of how messed up our history is. Our melting pot of a culture makes us beautiful. To live in a culture for a month that is almost homogenous, had to be a shock for most of the Koreans who randomly took photos of me, children who waved at me, men who tried to kiss me, the media interviewing me, elderly women who touched my hair and everything in between. All the attention that I received may not have happened to me because I am black, they could have thought I was a famous person or something, I don’t know, I don’t speak Korean. I can truly say I felt loved and embraced while I was in that country. I could do without the random guys trying to kiss me though 0_o.
Its been a week since I have been back in the USA, Hawaii to be more specific. And the first thing I did while I waited for my ride, was sit outside and breathed in the clean, crisp, refreshingly heavenly scent of Hawaii oxygen. It almost brought me to tears because I forgot how clean our air was. After that I got a big fat juicy BURGER! So to my communist classmate… you can kiss my ass and pass me the ketchup.
I want to take this time out to thank all of my readers who have read my posts. When I originally made this blog I thought my mom, my sister, and my 2 best friends would be the only people to read my blogs, and surprisingly I have over 2,000 views. So thank you so much for reading because you all inspire me to write! Since I don’t plan on traveling to far out places until 2013, be prepared for some random everyday stories from me, motivational posts, posts about my business (Queen V Production) and a whole lot more!