Sunday, November 8, 2009

Surprises...the good,bad and the ugly

Last weekend was full of surprises. First off we went strolling in my favorite department store. LOTTE! Fran discovered a supermarket equipped with a food court on the lower level. Are you kidding me? All Lotte needs is some beds on the top floor and a night club and you would literally never have to leave the building. You have to see it to believe it. I know I'm a little obsessed. lol. After having our fill of Lotte and checking out a cute little sushi place for lunch, we made out way to Anyang station where a Korean children's variety dance group called " Popcorn" was performing. These pint sized performers were gettin with it. Silver blinged out combat boots, hot pink skirts, and MJ gloves. Really ? A group of children ranging from ages 3-8 were puttin in work on the elaborate choreographed dance routine and they sang at the end. Only Korean children.
Later that evening  Fran and I were invited to my co-teacher's house for a traditional Korean dinner. Everything was so delicious ( mashsisoyo). A full spread! Her family is soo cute. Her daughters Su-Hyun and Seng Hyun are my instant new little buddies, not to mention they are talented. What is it with Asian children and being gifted and perfect? After dinner her eldest busts out classical music on the piano while her younger daughter commences to draw me an equestrian masterpiece. Why cant American children be child prodigies? Yet another reason why Asians are going to take over the world. I'm convinced. Then my co-teacher says " You like Nori bong right?" ( Nori bang is Karaoke). " Do I ever" I replied. " Ok ler's go now" she says! SO me Fran and my surrogate Korean family head off to Karaoke. It's okay to bring children to karaoke late on a Saturday night? What do we Americans know about raising children anyways? So off we went. The kids are singing cartoon theme songs, Ms. Kim and her husband are belting out "romantic" Korean melodies, while Fran and I are getting with  tunes Beyonce, Drake, and Maroon 5." Are these popular American songs?" asks Ms. Kim. We assure her they are. The mood doenst pick up until Fran and I sing, Y.M.C.A followed by Hey Jude....typical. You dont know contemporary American tunes  but you know The Village People and the Beatles? We should have known something was up when the cd in the car, played old school Toni Braxton and Total Eclipse of the Heart. Overall is was a great night. Oh and Ms. Kim sent us home with a Korean goodie bag complete with a few cans of " That's Y" lol...gotta love it.

On Sunday Fran and I waited for the ridiculous thunderstorm to pass before heading out to Seoul. We hopped on an express train where when we arrived at our designated seats a old Korean bum was sleeping in my chair. I tapped him, not having the vocab for this sort of situation and showed him my ticket. He acknowledges it, then moves over to Fran's seat! I now show him both tickets. He sucks his teeth and gets up and stands the rest of the way. Ummm...
I paid my $2.50 to ride in comfort... sorry Mr. Bum. ( gotta say Mr. it's Korea!) Upon our arrival in Seoul, Fran and I look at one another in a culture shock..." Are we even in Korea anymore?". Talk about westernized. When I asked for directions in Korean, and young Korean man pulled his phone away from his ear in the clearest English he said " Hold on a minute I'll help you, I just have to take this call" Almost disgusted that this man spoke English...I said ok and waited patiently. Never thought I'd see the day when I wasn't excited to hear someone speak English. The further we walked into Seoul the more we were flooded with western restuarants, signs in English and waves of foreigners. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to meet new foreigners. But their numbers were overwhelming. I've noticed that racism transcends a leap across the pond. I find that most Caucasian foreigners dont even speak or acknowledge you as you pass. I figure we're all American...we're all in the same boat....ummm sike my mind. Let me set these rose colored glasses to the side for another day. But it doesn't stop their folks, even my own people of color are rare to share a friendly word. Now that infuriates me! What is up with that my black people? Really you come to another country and you cant even acknowledge your fellow brothas and and sistas? SMH. Well on a lighter note, as Fran and I are leaving the station we see a Peruvian man and his band decked out in knitted ponchos singing none other than that oldie but goodie...La Bamba. Wait La Korea? Please tell me how you and your band made it here to South Korea of all places and decided that La Bamba was an appropriate song for the Seoul Station quad. As waves of foreigners pass and Korean becomes the least spoken language I hear,it saddens me and I miss Anyang. Fran and I take ourselves on a bit of a walking tour ( we got lost) then found our way in the subways and made the acquaintence of two African- American females who've been teaching in Korea for almost a year. They gave us the ins and outs of Seoul and showed me where to" get my hair did". I was most appreciative to my newly found friends and made plans with them for next weekend. As Fran and I said goodbye to the girls we made our way to the busy streets of Itaewon. Foreigner Central. We  had some fab sushi at Rollin Up and I tried KGB which is Vodka with Lemon in a bottle...def good times.I found some "special surprises" in my Udong soup...Umm yeah definitely not sure what everything was. Very squishy and chewy. I've learned just to go with it and swallow. lol ( get your minds out the gutter!)  Anyways after settling the tab, Fran and I made our way to a near by stoop and decided to play 1/100. Interestingly enough, we came across Fran's future baby's father. This gorgeous man we've talked about at length, was a mere yard away and the " Choke session" commenced. I wont go into detail to spare those involved, but just know this Wednesday she will redeem herself at the KBL game Anyang vs. Seoul. Hwai Ting! After sitting for a bit and being accosted by strange, badly dressed Nigerians, Fran and I made our way back to the train station and promptly on our way back to Anyang. As we stepped off the platform and made our way to the street, " Ahhh home" I said. I never thought I'd be so excited to be somewhere so foreign. Getting used to the " Oh my god" stares and the " Aniyo" every time I ask " Yongol haseyo?" (do you speak English) I relish these moments. Anyang, my little piece of Korea. I love it.

Confucius say: the grass is not always greener on the other side but the eye candy is Seoul is worth the ride


  1. HHHHHeeeeeyyyyyyyAH! What about my prodigy child? America hasn't lost hope yet!!! You shoulda tried flipping the bird to the fellow americans who forgot where they came from.... maybe that would have got you some acknowledgement. Suckas!


  2. Anyang V.S. Seoul...home (Anyang) is where you make it!Sounds like Anyang is more your cup of tea. But, enjoy the social amenities of westernized culture in Seoul.

    Fellow Americans... should extend themselves, after all they are foreigners lol

    Gotta love the networking, spot to get your HAIR done ...good times:)