Saturday, October 22, 2011

cuz i'm all white...

So, it has been a really long time since I updated this thing once again. I really like experiencing things rather than sharing them others. I suppose I'm being a little greedy especially since I don't get to talk to the people back home very often. I'm sorry! I will try to make up for it. So, here's the latest:

The super quick update on my life for those of you too busy to read past the first few paragraphs. I'm still single, still working out, still fighting, still making friends, still going out, and of course still having many adventures.

Now to expand on these points. Yes, I'm still single. There have been some men that I'm interested in and are interested in me. Logically speaking, it really doesn't make sense. The truth is while they are friends of mine, we still cannot communicate well. We understand each other based on actions and how we treat others. So for now, I'm single.

I go to the gym everyday. Living in a foreign country can be difficult, but I love working out my frustrations at the gym. It keeps me sane for the most part. Sometimes it is difficult especially with new people coming and going all of the time. Many Koreans (like many Americans) don't have much of a commitment for exercising. Of course, they realize it's good for their health and they should do it. So they come to the gym for a month or so and then quit. The people that are committed to the gym accept me as a Daejeon person and call me sister. They consider me part of the gym family. However, sometimes the new members call me the foreigner not realizing how hurtful it is to be considered that or how much more they are a foreigner to these guys than I am. The guys do try hard to make me feel comfortable and they do treat me well. However, the girls can be a problem sometimes. The girls are the worst. Maybe 1 out 20 will stay longer than a month at the gym. They all recognize the relationship that I have with the guys, and so they try to play nice. Most of the time, they want me to set them up with one of the guys or they want to practice their English. I don't mind doing either for them. However, I do mind their attitude. They like to talk about me in Korean which I don't mind as long as I can hear what they are saying (I do understand most things as long as I can hear them). However, when I walk away to get water or something they will talk about me so I cannot hear them. If I ask them to repeat what they said they ignore me. This has gone on for quite sometime. Lately, it has become annoying because the gym is no longer peaceful for me. One of the girls asked me to dinner and asked me if I liked hamburgers. I told her no. She continued asking me about fatty foods like pizza, steak, samgyupsal, and bulgogi. I told her that I don't really like greasy foods or beef. She then, told me that she didn't believe me because she could see that I was fat. I'm sorry say what? You come to the gym once a week and eat crappy food, and you are calling me fat? Yes you may wear a smaller size than me, but we can't all be small, and naturally thin Korean women. But whatever, its one girl and she really can't help being narrow minded when she hasn't experienced other cultures. And I was fine until the week after that, I went to dinner with some of the older guys, and one of them got really drunk and thought it would be fun to tease me. He said that I was very pretty, but only my face. Not my body. I was so angry. He did apologize when he was sober and said that it wasn't true and that he says that to all of the girls, and the other guys came up to me and said the same thing that he does say that to all of the girls. He promised never to say stuff like that ever again and so while I still don't feel fine and I don't trust him I don't want bad relationships at the gym so I gave in. But then, the next week, my friend Juli was talking to the girls telling them that her students say she looks pregnant. Then, the girls laughed, said my name, and spoke softly in Korean when I couldn't hear them. I wasn't comfortable especially with all that had been said lately so I asked them to repeat what they said. I asked them over and over in Korean and in English and they said nothing. Juli even asked for them to repeat and they didn't. So instead of starting a fight, I said goodbye and went to change my clothes. As I was trying to leave, the girls stepped in my way and asked me not to leave. I got very angry and I yelled in Korean at her, and then, I walked away angrily. Not how I wanted to leave because in Korea that is extremely disrespectful and I didn't want to be that person. I received a message later informing me that everything was my fault and the girls were very sad about what I did because I am not Korean we will have misunderstandings and I should have been more understanding. However, you cannot have a misunderstanding when words were not spoken audibly. I told them I will not be held responsible for this because I did ask them to repeat what they said, and it was them who disrespected me by not repeating what they said. I received a message back in Korean asking me to repeat what I said in Korean because they couldn't understand. I told them in Korean that I didn't want to speak in Korean because I can't speak Korean well. Honestly, I am too far away from home to be brought down by such negativity from a place that usually gives me serenity. I do hate that this has happened because I really don't know how much longer I can stay at this gym, but the truth is there is no other place to go. The gym owner asked me the next day if I felt better (obviously I didn't and I still don't because the truth is even while they may say differently to him I will always be the outsider and he will always side with a Korean person). He did tell me that he understood my feeling because when he lived in Australia he hated when people talked about him as well. And it has been better since then. I've been going at a different time so I don't see the girls, and the guys are even nicer to me now. Even still, there are times that I'm uncomfortable because the truth is there is really no one to do jiujitsu with me at the gym. The only guys that will spar with me are super strong or are high school boys. I do win against the high school boys (although I let them win too; otherwise they will never spar with me again). One boy makes it so awkward though. Everytime he sees me, he winks at me. Ew. Then, one time while we were sparring, he said, "Your eyes are blue. Very pretty." Seriously CREEPY!!!! I really don't want to spar with him, but as the people that will spar with more are limited I kinda have to. So there's whats up with the gym. I still run every day too. I have cut it back to only 3km because I think I'm getting worn out. I do have another marathon that I will run in November. I just hope it won't be too cold.

I do often go on trips with my friends as well as go out on the weekends. A few weeks ago, we went paragliding in Ulsan. There wasn't enough time for all of us to go so I didn't get a chance to paraglide, but the trip itself and the view was amazing! We did get a chance to go ATVing which was fun. I go out with my friends almost every weekend. Yesterday, I went out with one of my good Korean friends and his friend. We started out at a restaurant in Old Downtown. The guys had already started eating when I arrived. Shortly, after I got there, one of the workers asked my friend if we would leave. He asked what the problem was, and the lady said that she didn't like foreigners eating at her restaurant. Hahaha. Ok, stuff like that I don't mind because the truth is she doesn't know me. She's also just a worker at a small restaurant. I have way higher connections in Daejeon than she will ever have. She is more of a foreigner than I am. So it doesn't really matter. Plus, I made the guys leave their spoons in the dish when we left (some Koreans believe that if you leave your silverware in the dish when you are finished eating that it invites evil spirits.) The rest of the night was fine, no problems. My friend was really upset though; he kept saying that he was going to make sure that the restaurant was closed quickly. It doesn't matter though karma will get her eventually!

So I think that's about it. Even after all of that, I probably won't leave this country anytime soon. I'm still very much in love with it. Where else can I get paid this much money for my ability to speak English and still have time to have fun? Plus, besides my family and friends what is there to come back home to right now? A really crappy economy and an overworked society? No thank you, I will continue to have my fun and make my money.

1 comment:

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