July 20, 2018 ᛫ 2 min

Two days in Seoul

The first thing I noticed on the flight over was that everybody initially thought I was Korean, and spoke to me as such. This was a large surprise, since I'm often told that my appearance is "very Chinese."

Maybe the flight attendants were an isolated subset of mistaken Korean people, but I then discovered that the hotel staff also mistook me for being Korean.

Every encounter I had in Seoul began in Korean, which was pretty cool to me because...

  1. I wasn't trying to appear Korean.

Incheon International Airport

The cleaner the Asian city, the fewer trash cans it somehow has.

I was somewhat proud to be regarded as a native in a foreign country...

Second day

...but then realized that this was largely inconvenient for me and confusing for others.

I was trapped in this awkward pseudo-Korean state, which was became concerning because...

  1. I wasn't trying to appear Korean.

I spent the evening with some local friends, who were surprised to hear that people thought that I was Korean. Apparently, my face, my clothing, my limbs, my skin, and what seemed to be every non-vital organ in my body did not "look" Korean. As the night continued, the four of us were walking back in the Yeouido metro station when an elderly woman approached us with a question.

Of course, she approached me, already speaking Korean and gesturing towards a map.