Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Departing Korea

Departing Korea by kiki5253
Departing Korea, a photo by kiki5253 on Flickr.

I'm getting ready to leave Korea. I already passed through customs and's much easier here than in the US to go through customs and security. I don't know why...but everything is much more organized.

I'm sitting at the gate right now waiting for my flight. As usual, United's plane has been late, but customer service has come through again! I was re-booked on an Asiana flight (AGAIN!!! ^_^) and will have a direct flight to Seattle this time instead of flying through San Francisco. Thank you United for getting this straightened out for me before if only all your flights could be on time on a regular basis. When I left my plane was delayed for 2.5 hours then too!! Maybe I'm just really unlucky when it comes to travel...

Ah well, I'm ready to go home. I loved being here in Korea and I hope to come again in the next year or two...but honestly, I had a great experience. It wasn't at all what I expected and probably, the fact that I wasn't trying to do any adoptee stuff, made it that much more enjoyable. Instead, I got to participate in regular Korean culture. I had many wonderful experiences and though, I don't speak the language, everyone was extremely friendly. I'm sure that if I were a regular worker, it would be an entirely different matter, but as a guest in a foreign country, I had a great time.

As far as my Korean identity is concerned...I feel much more at ease with who I am and being ethnically Korean and culturally American. I can easily (if I learn more Korean) participate in both cultures equally and there are some wonderful pros and cons about both cultures and countries.

I'm glad I took this trip as an adult because the experience has been so different from when I was in high school. I was timid and shy...I was unsure of myself and I didn't want to be Korean...i just wanted to fit in with all the other Americans and look like a typical American. But I don't look like a typical American; I look like a typical Korean.

One of the things that probably was the best learning/growing opportunity for me was the idea of body image. For the first time, when I looked around me, I saw people my height with my face shape and eye shape, nose shape and legs and body. I am an average Korean female; well, I'm still kind of tall and according to my friend I have long legs ^_^ but really, being surrounded by people who look just like you does wonders for your self esteem and the way you look at yourself in the mirror. I'm actually pleased to be Korean and to have Korean features. I also have a better idea now for how to do my hair and makeup...and find clothes that work for my body shape. Everything in the US is for some tall lanky, Caucasian with big eyes and distinct cheeks and double eye-lids. It can be so frustrating to not have those things when that's all you see and hear about as being beautiful or attractive. It made it hard for me to figure out what can I do with what God's given me. More and more, I'm feeling more comfortable in my own skin...not as an adoptee, but as a Korean American woman.

Anyway, I'm sure more thoughts will pour out when I get back to the US. these are just the things on my mind right now as I'm waiting for the plane.


P.S. See you in Seattle!

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