09 November 2009

Asian encounters

I thought I'd share with you this past weekends' Asian -related encounters with three different people. Sometimes I wonder if being Asian, automatically puts a big red sign on your forehead that says in bold letters: "Please come talk with me and share your life story". Usually I don't mind people talking with me about my heritage or their own or sometimes talking with me because of the fact that I'm born Korean (with exception of those guys who use it as a really bad pick -up line while totally wasted).
This past weekend has been full of those small encounters with people and most of them have been weird and quite awkward, so I thought I'd have to share them.

I had my first encounter with a what I believe to be fellow adoptee at 05:45 am waiting for the bus to go to work on Saturday. First off, the reason why it was very awkward was because I have no idea if she was somewhat mentally disabled or just totally wasted ( my pick is actually a little bit of both). Anyway she basically came down the street running after me and shouting for me to stop, so for some reason I did. She told me how she was going to take the bus to go visit her mom and dad for Father's Day and that her sister was going to join them, as well as her niece. She told me in detail how she was proud to be an aunt. Then I left to go to the next bus stop. Little did I know that she would come back. This time around she again told me about her being an aunt and how her mom had bought her the purple/black scarf she was wearing. Then she just kept staring at me for about 30 seconds before she left.

My second encounter happened at work where a customer who was from China asked me in really bad Swedish if I was too. I told her I was from Korea and her whole face lit up and she started ramble on and on about how her grandchildren no longer look like Asians, all while her Swedish husband tried to get her to keep quiet. (he was obviously embarrased, although there was no reason to be)

Of course another customer overheard the entire conversation and decided to become my third and final encounter of this past weekend. He was a Swedish man and he asked me if I was, really from South Korea. I said yes. He then said; oh you're not, you're just ashamed of being from North Korea. My mind went (????!???!!?) So I had to tell him again that I wasn't and then I told him that even if I was I would not be ashamed, sure North Korea makes political decisions and go through with actions that aren't what people expect or agree upon, but because of it I as a person would not be ashamed. Those are not my actions and I'm not saying that I agree with any of them. And besides, I'm from South Korea and who is he to say that I'm not, I was a little bit pissed off. Then he paid for his bread and left.

I still think it's weird when people come up and talk with me before even saying a proper hello. Sharing their life with someone they don't even know by name, only because ones appearances are the same or similar. I think it's strange but I don't mind. Well sometimes I do, but I think most people would mind strangers coming up to you and talk like you're their own personal diary, without having asked for it.

Although, there are those encounters that are just cute and nice, like this one, it happened earlier this summer. I was walking around with my dear friend Ell and all of a sudden we hear a "Ni hao" and we turn around and there's a group of Chinese tourists, sooo cute. I guess I look like a huge questionmark because then they say "Are you Chinese" and I say "No" and they gently walk away, while smiling.

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