Life · Life in Korea

How Korea made me American and Korean-American (?)

Surprising Development #1: Frances identifies more strongly as ‘MURICAN.

I have spent extended periods of time in Japan and Taiwan without feeling this way. But when I stepped on a plane back to the U.S. after three months in Korea, I felt extremely relieved to see FELLOW AMERICANS. It made me feel a little bit better when one of my Korean-American friends (who speaks fluent Korean) also admitted that coming back to Korea made him feel more American. “So it’s not me, right? It’s Korea?” or so I tell myself.

Surprising Development #2: Frances tells strangers she’s Korean-American.

It just saves me a lot of time when dealing with prodding strangers. (RK: Random Korean. FC: me)

Scenario 1: I tell them I’m American.

RK: So where are you from?
FC: the U.S.
RK: *confused expression* But…you don’t look American.
FC: My parents are from Taiwan
RK: *even more confused* … so how do you speak Korean?!?!?!
FC: I STUDY KOREAN. (STOP QUESTIONING MY IDENTITY. I JUST WANTED TO BUY SOME WALNUT COOKIES ㅠㅠ)

Scenario 2: I tell them I’m Korean-American

RK: So where are you from?
FC: I’m Korean-American.

DONE. 끝!

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