Korean Fun Fact #7: Being a 외국인 in Korea
Okay so sometimes being a foreign is the best and sometimes it's the worst. Here's why--
When it's the best...
people give you free food, discounts on clothes, and everyone tells you you're beautiful. But really. Korea has done wonders for my self-esteem. There was even this one time in my first area that my companion and I were walking down the sidewalk and a group of students were walking in the other direction, on the other side of the road, and they still yelled to me across two lanes of traffic, "BEAUTIFUL! YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!" And then I turned to my trainer and was like, "I love Korea!"
Anyway, it's going to be super weird when I return to America and random people don't tell me I'm beautiful anymore. ㅠㅠ
In other good things, the Korean people are really nice about complimenting foreigners who try to speak Korean. Even when I was a greenie and could manage only an awkward, "안녕하세요," kindly grandmas would still pat me on the back and say, "You speak Korean so well!" Once I didn't even say anything, and some called back to me, "You speak Korean so well!!" And that's when I realized they probably weren't praising me for my Korean skills. Koreans are just super nice.
On the flip side, when being a foreigner is the worst...
small children are afraid of you, creepy men notice you a lot faster, and groups of students whisper about you when you get on the bus. And then you add the whole, "I'm a missionary" issue into the mix and things get a whole lot more complex. It's a good time. ^^
1. We met this guy on the street who had met the elders a couple years before for English interest. When we asked him for his contact information, he replied, "Don't worry, the elders will know it. The name's Bond. James Bond." And then he ran off. Ah, missions are so weird.
2., we had the funnest Ward FHE ever. I can't explain it all right now, but just know that it involved competing for the different ingredients in 김밥 and we're definitely doing it when I get back.
3. Our investigator invited us over for her son's birthday. We sang and ate cake and gave him the sweet Spiderman card we made him. But guess what movie her kids were watching? That's right. Frozen. Her little five-year old son would not let us get away without watching Elsa sing "Let It Go." Every few seconds he would look up at us to make sure we were watching. If we looked away for even a second, he would say, "NO! You have to watch her sing!" 아이고. I swear I'm going to see the entire movie before my mission's even over.
4.I bought a new skirt and then this happened. I'm sorry, I'm not sorry.
5. And finally, transfer day! I don't actually know what's going to happen yet, so you might have to wait for next week to find out, but I know I'll definitely be getting a new companion. And I know that I haven't written about my companion nearly as much as I should have, but please know that I really really love her. We made it six months of non-stop togetherness, as two people who can't really even speak the same language, and we're still friends. Um, yeah, we definitely deserve some sort of medal. As hard as it is sometimes, I'm so grateful to always have a companion through this crazy, confusing, sometimes heart-breaking mission. And I know that 이희원 자매님 and I were truly always meant to be companions. The six months we've spent laboring together have been well-worth the miracles we've seen and the friendship we've formed.
I'm going to miss her so dearly. Parents, prepare for Korean visitors when I get home. ^^
I love you all! Wish me luck with the week!
Sydney sent me a quick note after sending her letter and informed us that she is getting transferred and her new companion will be another Korean sister.