Friday, October 8, 2010


It never ceases to amaze me how utterly shocked Korean people are when they see me.  Here is a rundown of how it happens:

Scenario 1: Shaina is walking down the street, probably knee deep in her ever changing mental movie (I am Shaina's Raging Conscious), when she hears someone yell "OOOOOOHHHH".  Cue strange man/woman who comes up to her and starts talking in Hangol (Korean) like Shaina knows what the hell she is talking about.  And if that's not enough, Creepy old person starts touching Shaina's hair because THAT'S whats up.  Nope... I can assure you...what's up...its not!

Scenario 2:  Shaina is walking to work and its 8am.  Not only is she walking, but the sun is shining down on her back causing her to sweat profusely (I am Shaina's over productive glands).  Cue 1,000,000,000,000 kids trying to run up to her and start speaking the 5 sentences they learned in school that year.  "HELLO" "WHERE ARE YOU PROM" "WHAT IS YOUR NAME" "THANK YOU"  "BYEBYE".  Cause I want to have conversations at 8 in the morning.  Yep, let's do that.

Scenario 3 (and by far my least favorite): Shaina is walking down the main shopping street probably pissed off because everything she tried on doesn't fit ( I am Shaina's ever slimming waist line pissed at Korea for not noticing...*$&@(@)*%*# You Korea).  Cue old lady/man/young teen boy/girl/mom/kid who sees Shaina and gets the "OH" face, then tries to sneakily poke the person they are with as if to say "O shit look at that" as if Shaina can't clearly see them.  They notice Shaina looking and quickly pretend they are NOT doing exactly that.  Here comes the face flush of embarrassment.  Yep you're caught!

Now, I say all this to express the sheer and utter "fame monster" that I deal with in Korea everyday.  This isn't a once in a while thing.  However, I can honestly say that its not a bad thing.  The only time I'm ready to tell someone "PISS OFF" (getting my Brit lingo ready) is when I'm just not in the damn mood (see examples above).

I do really like the hospitality I feel here, which brings me to my ultimate point.  They don't expect me to know Korean, they don't get angry when I misspeak or have no idea what they are saying.  They try to teach me words and we communicate through awkward movements and laughter what we are trying to say.  This has been true for me in every instance so far.  And even when I am being "taught" how to say something, it's not out of annoyance, but a sheer desire to help me speak their language. 

Random convention on my way to work...yep...just imagine! YETI!

So even though I am a yeti sometimes its not that bad.  Americans could most certainly take a lesson from the Koreans. 


  1. A yeti? No! Maybe a beautiful woman of voluptuous proportions, but not a yeti. Hugs!

  2. I feel your pain Shaina, nobody likes getting their hair patted on the bus by random people...happens to me all time!


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