Black Barbie wishes to File a Complaint
This tale from Korea is about my first few days in Korea and how I am the latest attraction to land in Korea.
I have been in Korealand all of 48 hours and I have things of which to complain about. I am in Seoul, and I am scheduled to head out to Daegu tomorrow. I wanted to spend a few days getting over the jetlag from hell before starting work. I met up with another American here and we decided to take a mini tour of Seoul with a tour group.
Today we visited Gyeongbokgung (an ancient palace). The day was long, hot, and slightly boring, but it was still fun. I assumed that being in Seoul that somehow the “Blackness” which is me would be less noticed considering that there are a lot of foreigners, including actual Africans running around Seoul. Silly me was I ever wrong. In the course of a few hours, I’ve had my damn picture taken, stared at, called out, and touched; not all touches were good touches. We were walking during the tour of the palace, and a Korean saw me, grabbed his camera, and took my picture!! Do I look like the tourist attraction? We’re at a palace! Sweet Baby Jesus, have some respect; we have several hundred years worth of culture and history and I’M the one you’re interested in?
As we were leaving the palace, a huge group of guys from some country in Africa were entering. Why did they all start pointing and shouting at me in some language that could have been Ancient Greek for all I know? Do I really look like I could be from your country? And another thing, that was a little racist on the Africans’ part; assuming that I was from their country while ignoring the other countries in Africa. Jeez, rude!
The highlight of my day was when a new friend I met (who is also American, Black, but just light-skinned) and I were walking around some random street looking for some bubble tea since it was too early even by my standards to start drinking. As we were walking, a Korean guy stops me (not my friend). This is our fucked up conversation.
Random Korean Guy: Hey!
Random Korean Guy: Where are you from?
Random Korean Guy: Wow!!! Are you from L.A.? I like L.A.!
Me: No, I’m from Texas.
Random Korean Guy: Oh, ok. Well, peace out! Hahaha peace out!”
Now, Lord knows he wouldn’t have said “peace out” if I weren’t dark-skinned. Sigh, but it was pretty funny. He seemed very happy to talk to me. I just don’t want to be a commodity. Oh well.
I think I am done ranting for the moment. However, I am quite sure that something and someone will piss me off again. Damn homogenous country that I must learn to love.
So hey, why don’t you tune in next week when I confirm all the rumors Koreans heard about Americans and their lack of intelligence.