Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

I write too many status updates on FB about the crazy stuff I encounter here. I'm starting to worry about it, so that's why I came over here to vent. My cousins, friends back home, etc., really don't need to read some of that stuff. I don't want to portray Koreans in a negative light, and my friends have started to make some comments. It's nice to have the support, but I need to chill for a bit. Just today my friend Alex went off on me, which was pretty embarrassing since it was on my status update. He had a point, though. Basically he said, "Put up, or shut-up." He's probably not the only one to have that viewpoint, so maybe on FB I should do what my mother (and everybody else's) always said- if you don't have anything nice to say, (you know the rest)...

He's probably the only one who could say that to me and not get de-friended (he came close, though- I'd prefer a pm in this case. It's not fun to be publicly lambasted). I've tried to explain some of the things I deal with here, but he doesn't sympathize. I don't blame him. He thinks if you are unhappy with your situation, you should change it. Maybe I sound like I'm giving excuses, but it's a little more complicated than that. I made a choice to marry a Korean man, and I don't regret that. I wish we didn't have to live here forever, but that's the choice I made. I accepted that a long time ago (I like my stress-free job and tons of vacation time), but I'm still a foreigner that will never be completely accepted here- I will always be an outsider. Maybe he's placing his American value system on my situation (which you can't do). Meaning that in the US, people (generally speaking) don't have any problems with foreigners- it's a melting pot. Maybe he assumes it's the same way here? I've tried to get him to see my point of view, and he certainly knows some of the crazy stuff I deal with (11 year-old boys have come on to me TWICE in the past month), but I guess some people see things in black-and-white. So he figures, take it or leave it and move on. So I need to figure-out a way to (fully) take it. It's easy to embrace the good stuff- it's the bullshit I have a problem with. And I deal with alot of bullshit.

I felt ashamed after what he posted. I thought, god, am I a complete bitch? But most (western) people would've reacted the same way to a pushy woman. Geez, I go to the doctor feeling horrid and people can't leave me alone and afford me the same amt. of privacy they would another Korean. But I'm not Korean. So I need to be prepared for annoying situations at all times, no matter the situation. And handle them with finesse. This is extremely difficult. I'm having a really, really hard time right now. Fertility treatments are really not fun (sorry to whine- just trying to put things in perspective), and my haywire hormones even put me in rages (luckily this seems to happen at night- I just can't sleep. I did think about taking a baseball bat and smashing bathroom mirrors while at Dongdaemun Stn., but that was just a fantasy). I'm doing the best I can right now. I would like to do better and learn how to handle things with my husband's graciousness and kindness, but I'm a work in progress. I tend to have a lot of off-the-wall encounters (more than the average person here), but that's another post. Sometimes you need sympathy from others who understand what it's like to be a foreigner here, and I'm grateful to everyone for their funny, encouraging, and sympathetic comments. Sometimes I need a kick in the butt (and I know that), but sometimes you need a (virtual) shoulder to cry on.


  1. I'm really enjoying your writing so far! We were just talking the other day about how you seem to have changed in regards to Korean encounters. I imagine it must be wearing on you to have so many encounters and always grin and bear it. You have always seemed so well adjusted and patient, I was worried that you seemed to be breaking down. I understand how emotionally draining failing to conceive can be, without adding in the hormonal cocktails.
    I really hope that writing this blog provides the catharsis you need. While I'm not one for giving a kick in the butt, I'm always good for a shoulder to cry on! ^.~ Although one of my old co-worker told me my "Mom Bosom" was the better to cry on! HUGS!

  2. First off, that friend's comments were moronic, hence the reason I kept commenting on it - and attempted to keep the comments directed to you, not him.

    It is a challenge to live here at times, and think your remark of "So I need to be prepared for annoying situations at all times, no matter the situation." is very apt. I can't imagine the range of emotions due to hormones that you have coupled with having to be "prepped" to face crap all the time. Hence the reason I stay home! My excuse was to do a masters - justifiable inclusion ^^ not at all appropriate when you have children, but doable for now.

    I hear ya! I feel ya! We'll go to the pool soon and try to create another bubble of foreign female power again ^^ (I heard the Hamilton may be cheaper during the week, have you been there?)

  3. I bit my tongue with the comments there (well, after picking my jaw up off the ground). I think you've nailed quite a bit of it in your post here. My major was Korean studies, and even coming here knowing that some of the culture would come off as rude to me is just completely different from experiencing it. You just can't understand it until you've lived it.

    Yes, foreigners and mixed race people are a "commodity" here. The way we are sometimes (or often) treated is a problem, not just a cultural or acceptable social norm. That wouldn't fly in the US, and we should stand up for ourselves here. Even the government is continuing to support efforts to open the minds of people here so that Korea is a more global country.

    Don't be ashamed of what he posted. It's not like you threw your drink in her face. You might reflect on the situation to better prepare yourself next time, but don't be ashamed because of someone else's ill manners. And yes, it is ill-mannered--not everyone here acts like that.

    I could go on, but I'll restrain myself. Hang in there. ♥

  4. Thanks, you guys! I picked-up a book on Korean culture, but my husband in countering many of the points made in the book! And it was written by a famous Korean world historian (and political cartoonist). He touches on some points, but it's just the surface- it's pretty much and overview and doesn't go too deep. It'll be interesting to see how SJ's education goes here- maybe that'll provide some answers.