I would like to think I’m open to new cultures and experiences. That I’m able to adjust easily to changing circumstances. But why is it so difficult for me to get accustomed to Korean culture? When it comes to Korea, I’m so critical from the way they dress to the way they treat workers to the way they lavishly live their lives. Truly, an outsider and Western “I’m better than you” mentality. Because let me be honest, sometimes when I’m out with my parents, I’ll speak English rather than Korean to show people that I’m from the States. Messed up, yo.
Yesterday I went to a cafe to order an Iced Americano. After I thought I had successfully ordered, the cashier said something about having a membership or getting a discount. I’m not sure which it was but either way, my response was a blank stare. I immediately said, “Excuse me? I don’t know what that is. I’m from America” in English. The waiter just smiled and apologized.
It’s hard, and I think it’s hard because I don’t want to be embarrassed. I realize that using the “I’m from the States” phrase is only an excuse to get away with not knowing the culture or language (note: very different from being ignorant of the culture). In a sense, I don’t want to associate myself with Koreans, and it’s always been like that. I’m hoping during my time here my mentality will change and I’ll be more open to this place. Because let’s be real, there’s a lot of great things to like about this place like the sheep cafe I will be visiting next week. Yes, a sheep cafe.