anonymous asked:

Have you ever been discriminated against while in Korea ? My friend is a teacher in Busan and she says people treat her like an animal in the zoo sometimes. Is that true? Is is really hard to be a foreigner there?

Let me preface this by saying that I am a queer white woman, which means my experience here in Korea is obviously not the same as all other foreigners. My race, sex, gender, sexuality, body size, Korean language ability, etc. are all factors of identity that influence how I am treated. People of color, for instance, face far more discrimination than I do, but white men face considerably less. My identities give me privilege in some ways but make me a victim of stereotyping and microaggressions in other ways. I cannot possibly speak to all the various intersecting systematic issues of discrimination at play here because everybody’s experiences here are unique and I can obviously only speak from my own personal experiences.

That being said, here is a list of the various microaggressions (annoyances? not sure what to call them) I’ve encountered as a foreigner here in Korea:

  • spat at (and on) by old men on the street
  • young boys pretending there’s ‘a smell’ when I walk by
  • constant, blatant staring everywhere I go by people of all ages
  • people assuming I don’t speak or understand Korean and deciding it’s perfectly acceptable to talk about me when I’m within earshot
    • complaining about having a foreigner in the same cafe/restaurant/ subway car (as if I’ll somehow infect the space??)
    • comments on my outfit, hair, etc. (both good and bad)
    • shop owners, servers, etc. directing their comments and questions only at my Korean companion(s) even when they’re about me (ex: asking the person I’m with if I can handle spicy food)
    • boys in bars/pubs talking about my body in objectifying terms and daring each other to ‘practice their English’ with me
  • taxi drivers and street vendors trying to scam me under the assumption I can’t read the signs/taximeter
  • proposals of sex by people wanting to ‘ride the white horse’
Christmas season with Harry would include:
  • Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree as soon as it’s December 1st
  • Harry managing to tangle himself up in the lights somehow
  • Him hanging up ornaments on the higher part of the tree while you focused on the lower half so the tree was evenly decorated
  • Dancing to Christmas music while arguing over whether the tree needs more ornaments—which it definitely does
  • Harry insisting that you two bake cookies afterwards to keep up the Christmas spirit
  • Listening to Harry sing along to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas and him nailing all the high notes
  • Doing a duet of Baby It’s Cold Outside
  • “Can we put sprinkles on these cookies? Like red and green ones for Christmas?” “Well not all of them, Harry. We’ve gotta frost them.” “Let’s just do both!”
  • Noticing him eating some of the cookie dough and him acting all sly about not getting caught but choosing not to ruin his ego by admitting you saw him
  • Him insisting to hang a mistletoe on your bedroom doorframe as if he needed more of an excuse to kiss you
  • Coming home early one day to see him in the process of wrapping gifts for you and him releasing a shriek before forcing you to loiter in the bedroom until he was finished
  • Noticing that his presents were all perfectly wrapped with a bow while yours seemed to look like a five year old wrapped them
  • Each of the boys stealing a dozen of cookies whenever they drop by
  • Constant sweater weather and having the honor to see Harry curled up on the couch with a blanket wrapped tightly around him
  • His sweater paws clutching around his hot chocolate to warm his cold hands
  • “Do you know what I heard was the fastest way to warm up is?” “What is it, Harry?” “Sex.”
  • Harry setting an alarm for 9:30 on Christmas morning so you two can actually accomplish something before noon—when you two normally wake up
  • Him being very eager and enthusiastic as he passes you gift after gift from him
  • Harry saving one smaller gift for last and making you blush when you saw the skimpy lingerie in it
  • “I was saving the best for last,” He whispers in your ear, “and I was hoping I’d get to see you in it tonight… You know, as another special present.”

The best thing about it, honestly, is working with Chris again. I first met him in Kenneth Branagh’s house in England in 2009. We were mere children, in the very beginning of our acting journeys. We made an instant connection, and it’s been extraordinary to share the ride with him—this mad journey with Marvel. Anthony Hopkins has been on set this week. And Taika Waititi is magnificent. He has found a way of honoring everything that came before but doing his own thing. And he’s so funny. His films—and if you haven’t, you must seek them out: What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople—they have this combination of light-hearted, good humor and emotion. They’re very moving. Everyone’s really happy.