July 28th 2010
Well I have encountered my first breakdown. It just so happened to be on my sweet 16. I spent it quite uneventfully too. The scariest part was that I was having a breakdown not even a month into my stay and I still have about 11 months to go. I kept asking myself “how am I going to endure those 11 months?” Thats the scariest part and its a mystery to me, but I am feeling better today. I am feeling optimistic!
I love this city so much! Seoul~ There’s always something to do. I think that is the best part. You can either go to Karaoke rooms and sing your heart out, or go to Myeongdong and shop until you drop. Or you can just go there and people watch! Just from people watching I can learn so much about the culture! However, in general, I have learned tons within this first month that I have been here. I have seen and done a lot of things I would have never experienced in the US.
I am in a homogenous country. With that being said, you would think that being white (waygukin as the koreans call you), and blonde you would feel divided from the population in someway. I actually don’t. I do have moments when I feel like everyone is starring,but I barely notice it on most days. We are all people and we’re all the same. They might be Asian and I sometimes may think they are way prettier than me, but we’re the same. I have realized that. It may seem like an obvious truth, but look how many people judge others by where you come from. Although we are all the same species, we do not all think alike. That is why it is so much fun to learn from other cultures.
The first week during our orientation our program did this skit. They wanted us to interpret the story in our perspective, my readers, please also interpret. It went like this…
A women walks into the room where there is a chair. She takes off her shoes and sits on the ground. A man follows after the women. He does not take off his shoes and sits in the chair. The women gets a bowl of water and serves it to him.
So the story may seem like the women is the lesser one in this situation, but you are wrong. You see the women came in and took her shoes off and sat on the ground because women are one with Earth. They are more pure than men. They serve the men water because they are not allowed to touch something as pure as water that mother nature has created.
It shows you how we can judge someones culture because of our own ignorance and opinions. This skit opened my mind more than anything every before.
I realize that we will always judge a book by its cover no matter how hard we try. It is how we survive in our world, but be a little more open minded to understanding the opinions and perspectives of other. If you don’t then you are loosing out on the wonders of life.