Tonight was my turn to host bible study at my apartment, so before people came over I ran to the nearest corner store to grab some cookies. While I usually opt to go to the store that is a little further away because the guy is (a lot) nicer, I was pressed for time, so I settled for going to the store where the woman who works behind the counter typically avoids acknowledging my presence.
I thought this would be a 5 minute round-trip experience.
I was wrong.
As I grabbed some cookies and went up to the counter, another Korean lady, who had been talking to the cashier looked at me with amazement and began telling me how beautiful I am.
Ok, that's always nice enough, but usually it lasts for a minute, I say thank you, and then I'm on my way.
However, this lady REALLY thought I was beautiful. She was trying to use every word of English she knew to carry on a conversation with me. As I tried to walk outside, she came with me, wanted to know where I lived, and wanted to me come to dinner. She kept trying to ask me questions, telling me how beautiful I was, and ultimately asked me to put my phone number in her phone(which I did). I used my basic-level English to tell her that I had to go because my friends were coming (then I switched my story that I had to go to my friends because I think she was about to invite herself over).
As we said goodbye, she took my hand and kissed it.
Who knew having blue eyes and a big nose (but they're only concerned with the fact that it's "high") could evoke such a reaction. Especially while wearing UNH sweatpants from my freshman year of college and Ugg-style boots whose best days are far in the past.
My quick 5 minute round-trip run to the corner store turned out to be anything but that. As strange as it was, this experience is the embodiment of life in Korea. Even when you think something is going to be simple and easy, it can become an altogether awkward and perplexing situation in the blink of an eye.
TIK. And really, only in Korea.