Tara Townsend  
Yonsei University 

Where should I begin or matter of fact where should I end this? Being in South Korea now for 3 weeks has opened my eyes to people quite different than I but yet the same. We've all heard negative things about South Korea or just Asian people. I won't go into details with those because like any negative comments about people of a different ethnicity there are lies and some truths. What made me feel a little "warm hearted" today was that there are people out there in the world who don't mind helping a stranger find their way. At first in my mind I thought Koreans are not always nice, but I actually stopped myself and made myself rethink that statement. Some Koreans are not nice and others are nice folks who will help a stranger. That statement that I just mentioned about some koreans being nice is true for almost all the world. There are some folks who are ignorant while others try and move past that wall into understanding or at least try to. Today brought about that idea that there are nice people out there who will try and extend beyond the line even if different languages to help someone in need. During my travels today I rode the subway with another american girl. Not having much practice by myself in the subway and the other girl being a newbie too I decided I would lead the way. Actually we both did our parts in getting confused and finding our way.
  The start of our journey to the Immigration Office began sour as we tried to find which track to ride and finally looking at a bigger map I traced where we had to go. I don't know why but a feeling of "you're in the way" came over me and sure enough there were two guys behind us also looking at the map. "You're fine," the one guy said, relief that he spoke English I asked which way to get to the other track and graciously he pointed to the other side of the path. Thanking him we headed for the other side of the pathway. Our next mistake came when we got half-way to our destination and this time we were on the wrong side of the tracks. After asking one elderly guy which side we moved down the hall alittle and started speaking English. The funny thing about being in a country where some of the people speak English and the rest don't, it seems the ones that you think don't speak the language, actually do. While we were speaking another elderly guy turns his head and looks at me, nothing unusual on my part, this is a common thing in Korea. But he doesnt turn once to look at me but again as if trying to grasp what we are saying and I know my face had the lost look on it. So what the heck, I leaned forward a little and said where we needed to go and oh my gosh he answered in English. Actually he did more than answer in English he followed us to the escaltor and told us to go to the other side. If we werent in a hurry I probably would of hugged him for helping us. I guess it goes to show that some of the older generation are trying to move into the 21st century but heheh at their own speed.

Now I know that South Korea is modernized and technical savy but some of their people are like some Americans. You pass them on the street and they look at you curious as to who or what ethnic group you are. What really bothers me is when you are somewhat dazed as to where you are and go to ask for directions from them; they blow you off and keep walking the other way. Now where is the kindness I don't know and it's not like I was trying to sell them anything; hahaha I didnt have anything to give. We did eventually find our building funny thing was it was a block down the street we were on. So we really didnt need those girls help but I guess it was more of a mental comforter if they would of helped. After the longest time in the Immigration office we had to return to the subway and somehow manage to not get lost which we didnt really.. hahahha.
There are a few things I like about South Korea, and will give them some credit, when the promoters for new restaurants or stores are out they don't bother me. I was with a girl who looks Korean and they gave her a flyer but didnt even pester me with one. I guess I didnt matter but hey I am not complaining, the less paper I have to carry.  

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