Coming out of culture shock is like the end of "Spirited Away". In the end of the movie, she comes out of the scary adventure world and into the sunlight. Everything is the same as when she left it, and yet everything is completely. That being said, this morning I was talking to my parents about mixed race/ African American people living in Korea who have people touching their hair all the time. At the subway station, I had this happen with someone that I do not know. A halmoni came and sat down next to me, and I greeted her. She chirped something at me, and then grasped some of my hair (which is currently in twists, sometimes referred to as "flat twists"). I can honestly say that I did not mind, thinking of the experience as something stemming from curiosity and not racism. I feel like I am seeing everything around me through different eyes yet again.
On that note, I still had to work today (Saturday). The reason for this is that if I work on Saturdays and do not take any time off during the week, I can store those hours up for when my parents come to SK so I have to work less days at the end of my project.
Back to the idea of "feeling the difference" is the idea of the Holiday Season. I love the anticipation in the air leading up to Christmas day, and in the United States so many different people are getting ready to celebrate that everyone is really happy. This feeling in the air is missing here in Korea, and I can honestly feel the difference in this too.
I hope that my newfound excitement can help me through everything that is to come, and hopefully there is nothing else on this trip that will be as hard for me as culture shock was.
Sending you lots of love,
Everyday Acts of Activism