Foreigner buddies or Nah?
Today's youth (people like me) have adopted the rhetorical "or nah" as a sort of validated method to say no to something while sounding trendy and vaguely under- educated. On that note, this morning was quite an adventure. First of all, I tripped and almost fell on this dark skinned gentleman who told me that it was okay after I had apologized. He asked me some questions, I reciprocated, and I remember thinking "Oh, foreigners always end up talking on the subway like this, there's no harm in telling him my name, talking about my experiences in Korea". Unfortunately, no more than a minute later, he asked if we could be friends on Facebook. Now, this question is all well and good as long as you do not follow it up with the question he asked immediately afterwards. "So, are you like available to text anytime?" I felt like an animated Disney animal. I made a very weak affirmation, trying to think of a way to get myself out of this mess. I mean, I really did not want to be mean to this South African guy, but the whole thing was creeping me out, as he held up a picture from my profile to show me. "Are these your parents?" A few stops later, I raced off the train (in addition to being scared, I was late since there was something wrong with the subway train we were on and everyone had to transfer over.) As soon as I entered the building and saw that no one was in the office, I unfriended Mr. South Africa, reminding myself that Seoul is a really big city and I would be difficult to find again.
In other, slightly less terrifying news, I went to Itaewan with Germany after work yesterday. The whole thing was actually really awesome.... Until we went to a global ATM so that she could take out some money. The first machine said that she sis not have sufficient funds, even though she was certain there should have been enough since her mother had just sent her 200 Euros. We tried two other machines in different locations, only to end up with the same result. Perturbed, frightened, and hungry (the prices for food anywhere and everywhere in this entire city are way outside of the price range of poor volunteers such as ourselves), our night drew to an early close. Of course before the misfortune grasped hold, we had a great time walking around and finding shops. I bought a jar of pesto and a hair clip that is a stuffed animal duck. We discovered a store with a huge silver greyhound in front of it, a shop that looked like Moomins and the 70's had exploded all over kitchenware and cacti, and a foreigner shop that sold lots of the things that we have been missing lately.
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Everyday Acts of Activism