1. I’m going down one of the moving walkways in Woninjae, and two Korean guys are going in the same direction, walking the wrong way down the other moving walkway. The start calling over the gap over the middle “Hi! Hello! Hi!” As I’m the only foreigner, I work out they must be calling to me. So I decide to answer them. The rest of the conversation went:
“How are you?”
“I’m very well, thank you. How are you?”
“Uh… cool!… Look! *continues walking the wrong way down the moving walkway* Cool?”
“Yeah. Very impressive!”
“Like Michael Jackson! Look! Moonwalk!” *Moonwalks down the walkway*
*laughing* “Very cool!”
2. After about an hour on the subway, being offered a seat by an ajosshi. He was part of a crowd of older people who (based on their dress) had either been hiking, or were going hiking. I was then questioned by this group of people regarding where I was from, what I was doing, and whether or not I was getting cold. By questioned, I mean that they kept saying words at me until I recognised one and said yes or no, as the situation demanded.
3.1. The waygook effect
Managing to avoid the stacks of pamphlets I would otherwise collect, by virtue of being visibly not Korean.
3.2. The waygook effect (converse)
Being given business cards of Sri Lankan used cell phone dealers on the subway, by virtue of being visibly not Korean.
4. Being greeted by random children, who run away before I can respond.
5. When, having given me students group role play scenarios, a boy who was previously Mr Too Cool For School, willingly wads up his jacket under his top to pretend to be a pregnant woman.
6. One of my students finally asking whether or not I had a pet lion. And whether I’d ever seen elephants before. She seemed excited when I said yes, and then upset when I mentioned that they were in a nature reserve. She wanted to know if I’d ever seen them on the side of the road. Yes, but only when the circus was in town.
7. Being informed by several students last week that they’d seen me in Iron Man 3. Flattering as this is, there’s a bit of a logic gap. If I’m a movie star, why on earth am I a teacher?