The Black Barbie Chronicles: How People Reacted to Big Black Barbie’s Move to Korea

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Yep, the above look is what people did when I announced my move to Korea. Now, pretty much nothing I do surprises people anymore. So without further ado, here’s this week’s Black Barbie Koren Adventure Story. Enjoy

F. M. Laster

“I’ve been things and seen places.”- Mae West

How People Reacted to Black Barbie’s Move to Korea

You can tell a lot about people from the way they react when you tell them you’re going to teach English in Korea for a year, especially people who one, have never left the country, and two, who don’t own a passport. Anyhoo here are the 6 types of people I have the pleasure of running into here in H-Town:

  1. The “Korea is a 3rd world country” People

I went to my doctor for a check-up shortly before heading to Korea. I didn’t want any “surprises” showing up in the medical. I’d rather pay a couple of 100 now instead of a couple of thousand when I have to come back home. The doctor and I chatted for a bit, and I told him my plans. He looked at me like I was volunteering to help lepers for a year. He actually said that it’s good to know that there are more important things in life than the latest electronics.

It wasn’t just my doctor, but a hell of other people who thought I was traveling, to live in a mud hut or yurt in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, I would have no running water, electricity, or I’d have to boil my water every day. I would be teaching by natural light or by candlelight, with a coal stove in the middle of a one-room schoolhouse. My students would be the poorest of the poorest refugees; barefoot, dirty faces, torn clothes, and hungry all the time. Really???!! Get the fuck out of here! Black Barbie does NOT roll like that.

To top it off these same people thought I was doing this for the love of volunteering. In other words doing, this shit for free! Get the fuck out here! Black Barbie does not work for free! Never have, never will. I’s free now. One part of the motivation is to get away from The H as far as possible. I figure halfway around the world with the Pacific Ocean separating us would do the trick.

Now let’s not get it twisted. Korea like very another country will have its pockets of poverty. Korea is big on Confucianism. What this means is that a person’s family, not the government takes care of you. In other words, if you’re born poor, there is a good chance you will be miserable for the rest of your life.

  1. The “Kim Jong-un Will Personally Kill You” People

I really cannot blame these types of people. North Korea is just a skip, hop, and a jump away, so I get it. Also, when we Westerners see documentaries or stories about North Korea, we see North Korea ordering various rocket tests and allowing their citizens to be starved, beaten, persecuted, or worse. I guess you never know what a crazy egomaniac will do.

  1. The “Why Are You Not Going to Australia” People

“But everyone is in Oz!”

Australia is an English speaking, and The Hemsworths are there! Both are big advantages, but I am not looking for that at the moment. Aww, who am I kidding, I am ALWAYS looking for that. I’ll take a Hemsworth. Or two. One of the challenges that get people to come to Korea is to learn a new language and to immerse yourself in a foreign culture totally. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ love to visit Australia and live there one day with my own Hemsworth; just not this particular moment. Right now, I feel the need to do something so far out of my comfort zone, and Korea is the place to be.

  1. The “Problem Finding” people.

“There’s no Southern Food!” “You’ll be so homesick!” “You’ll have to eat rice all the time!” “You’re too Black” “ You’re Black” “Korea has different writing to us! DIFFERENT WRITING!!!” “YOU ARE BLACK!!!!!!!!!”

There are so many reasons not to come to Korea and a thousand more for coming to Korea. Well, the main reason is, of course, The H, but also for my sense of adventure. Also, there is a part of me who loves to travel. I think that inside I am a Wanderluster looking to wander. I also do not want to be on my deathbed in my 90’s wondering and regretting not going to Korea when I had the chance. I don’t want my last days to be days of regret because I didn’t go to Korea because I’m Black, I’ll miss Southern Cooking and learning Korean would be to damn hard! It’s only a year out of my life; I think I’ll live!

  1. The “OMFGI’mSoF’ingJealous” people

There are a small, and I do mean a SMALL number of Black Folks, who have drunk the tea and caught “ The Korean Kick”. The Korean Kick loves anything Korean, no matter how trivial it is. Usually, this group devotes themselves to anything starting with the letter “K”; K-Drama, K-Pop, K-Horror, K-Whatever. To their horror, I admitted that I have never watched or heard anything K-related. Of course, this will change, since I will be bombarded with anything K 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the next 365 days. Fighting!

  1. The “I Don’t Know What to Say” People

Many of my people have no clue what to say. This could be because they have no clue where the hell Korea is located. People don’t want to be embarrassed by what they don’t know. I get it; better to say silent and have everything think you’re intelligent than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. People, you should not be embarrassed. The world is a big place filled with countries that change names and regimes like whores change clothes and that’s okay. I tell people like that, don’t worry; that’s what Google is for; use the Google Force for something other than Rule 34!

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