Welcome to the Circus

“Step right up, ladies and gentlemen… I have a special treat for you this evening. All the way from Florida, U.S.A., I bring you (insert drum roll) not one, but two, blond-haired, green-eyed white people!”

I imagined the Korean man with his face pressed against the window of Starbucks would have said this if he spoke English.

But instead, just a deer-in-the-headlights stare—from him and about 20 others walking the streets of Myeong-dong.

My sister and I tried to focus our attention on each other, and our soy lattes, as cameras flashed and fingers pointed. But being a pseudo-celebrity is not as easy as US Weekly would have you believe.

So we laughed. Uncontrollably.

Three months of ogling and I still can’t get used to it. Nor can I understand why Koreans find it so unbelievable that a white American woman would take up residence in their country.

But it’s flattering, really. Well, besides the whole feeling-like-a-sideshow-freak thing.

I just need to remember to smile the next time a camera goes off…soy foam dripping from my nose is not a good look.

3 thoughts on “Welcome to the Circus”

  1. I don’t know if you remember me, but your mom gave me the name of your blog because I’m coming to Korea in February to teach English and I know nothing about… well, Korea.

    It sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun despite being stared at constantly. I studied abroad in India and they, too, stared when they saw a foreigner like it was their job. People would gather in the streets and block traffic just to watch me and the other Americans with me drink tea or something equally mundane. After a while, every time I saw a foreigner, I stared too.

    The fact that you are blonde probably makes it worse.

    -Emily Everhart

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