Sunday, February 7, 2010

Perhaps one of my most surreal Korean moments

...happened this weekend.

When I first got to this country well over six months ago, it seemed like I couldn't go a day without having one of those "is this really happening to me?" moments. Like the first night everyone at work went out and I ended up singing/rapping Puff Daddy's "I'll Be Missing You" with my manager, Michael + two Korean teachers from the middle school in a noraebong (an experience which has since reoccurred, fortunately).

Or the first time my student Dennis (the one I made cry) ddong chim(똥침)-ed me--meaning, he put his fingers like so:

and rammed them up my rear end (which was turned towards him while I was writing on the board). Yes, 똥침 pretty much translates directly as "shit needle," and it is a totally normal Korean prank.

There was also the time my co-worker Krystafre and I accidentally rode a local bus to the very end of the line, whereupon we were kicked off by our irate Korean driver. In the dark, in the middle of the night, on the edge of town.

I could go on, listing some of the KRAZY stuff that's happened to me as a foreigner here. But the thing is, while stuff like this still happens every once in awhile, things have stopped being so "WOW! This is OUT OF THIS WORLD!" here. Life has become (more) normal, which is good--I can make my way through a shopping transaction using just Korean. I have a gym membership. I can get around on the local bus system pretty awesomely, or at least without ending up at the foot of a local mountain.

Still, it's not every weekend that you find yourself sitting by the ocean, miles and miles away from where you live, eating BBQ-ed clams/oysters and drinking soju with your once-removed first cousin (Steve) from Oklahoma and his Korean business associates. And are gifted a signed Wonder Girls CD, despite insisting that you don't even like K-Pop that much.

My best approximation of where I was, lifted from the 'net. Eurwangni Beach.
Though I feel like I'm becoming more and more integrated into Korean culture the longer I stay here, it's nice to have weird-ass moments that jar me back to where I'm from and the culture that I come from, on occasion.

1 comment:

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