Monday, August 9, 2010

Strangers wanting your photo

I WAS on the subway on the way to my Korean lesson when he approached me. He was wearing a baseball cap and a goofy grin, and had a PSP game console in his hands. He looked like he was in his teens.

"Are you American?" he said.


"No."


"Canadian?"


"No, I'm Irish."


"Can I take your photo?"


"Eh, sure."


He put his arm around my shoulders and took a picture of us with his PSP, him grinning in triumph, me looking confused beyond belief. He got out at the very next stop and waved goodbye as the subway doors closed shut after him.

I really don't know why he wanted a photo of me but can only assume it was due to the slight novelty factor of a white man in Korea. Maybe he was going to show the picture to his friends, as though I was the latest Pokemon to be added to his collection.

"Hey guys, look what I got! A whitey!"


"No way man! But get this: I saw a real black dude yesterday."


"That's horse shit, I don't believe you! No one could get that lucky."


"Whatever, man. I do and he beats whitey by 8 cool points."


Another oddity, another day in Korea. I'm not complaining, though. I never thought before that pasty skin and orange freckles could be exotic. Maybe I'll set up a stall on the street and charge 1,000 for photos with the white marvel.

I could do with the money.

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