Everyday as I make the 10 to 15 min. walk to school or the subway I am passed by kids who look at me, and then a huge smile comes across their face. Then they usually wave to me or say "hello." Very few of them can actually have a short conversation with you. Then my favorites are the very young kids who don't know any English yet but still want to say hello. So they will very cutely do a full bow (nearly to the ground) and say "anyunhasayo"(the formal way to say hello in Korean). Then there are the kids who are riding bicycles who see me and nearly wreck b/c they are waving and looking at the foreigner! haha! I like it most of the time when kids do this to me.
However, there is a huge difference between kids doing this and adults. When adults see me, they don't usually say hello...instead they intently stare at me as I pass them. If they see me on the side walk, many times they will completely stop in their tracks stare at me and continue to stare at me as I walk closer to them, as I pass them, and sometimes they will stare until I am out of their view.....That's rediculous!!!! I know that I am taller, wider, lighter haired, different facial featured, and probably many other things, but seriously......MUST YOU STARE???? That creeps me out! Its mostly the older men and women who do it, but sometimes it is people my own age who are staring at me! So StrangEE!
So, all of those previous things should of prepared me for what happened last week on my strangEE scale! On Monday as I walked to school, the sun was shining and it was beautiful weather.A man is driving a van towards me. Just as he gets closer, he slows down. His jaw drops and he stares as he's driving past me. Weird! Then Wednesday or Thursday, I am coming home from work and it is raining hard. Suddenly a truck drives towards me, stops completely, rolls down their window....(may I remind you that it is night in the pouring rain...I'm kinda creeped out at this moment)....As I attempt to walk past the truck that is stopped in the middle of the street, all of a sudden I hear a deep mans voice say "hello" (Creeped out I walk a little faster to get past the stopped vehicle) Then just as I am about even with the truck then two kids come flying across their father through the open van window and also say "hello!" I felt a little more relieved to see the kids, so I said "hello" back to them, waved and continued my journey to get out of the rain. Lastly, about a block from my apartment, a man on a motorcycle drove past me, pulled over to the side of the street, took off his helmet, then proceeded to stare at me as I walked by. I tried to avoid looking at him as I walked by b/c it thoroughly CREEPED ME OUT! Then after I was out of view he drives up closer and then slows down as he passes me. So STRANGEE!
So, none the least.....I still feel like a foreigner in this land! :-)