Friday, December 22, 2006

Russian???

This is referring to what I mentioned in the last post about people thinking I am Russian.
Since arriving in Korea, I have often been asked if I am Russian. It is not just the Koreans asking me that, either. After I got here in the fall of 2001, the foreigners that lived in my building thought I was Russian. One of them told me that after she met me. She wasn't sure why they thought that. During that first year here in Korea, I was constantly being followed by drunk Korean men thinking I was Russian. I even had one grab my ass and ask "ol-ma" which means "how much." I don't think I need to explain that any further.
Sales people, taxi drivers, and other Koreans that I encounter often ask if I am Russian. Either that or if I am American. It is not often that they just ask where I am from. Strange.
My previous contract in Korea I was in Goyang City, which is just north-west of Seoul. A couple of times I was even stopped by Russian women thinking I was Russian.
When I was in Shanghai, in China, I was asked either where I was from, or if I was Canadian. That was also a bit odd, I thought. Maybe they get a lot of Canadian visitors there??? The two Estonian guys I met in Suzhou (at the KFC, if you remember that post), said that I looked like I could be Russian, as I had some features that were very Russian-like. Interesting.
There are Russian women all over South Korea. They are usually 'dancers', etc (or other types of entertainers, if you know what I mean). I heard that they make a lot more money here than than would if they stayed in Russia. Anyway..... It is strange that so many people seem to think I am Russian. Not just that I am Russian... but that I am a Russian in Korea... knowing what the majority of them do here. It is usually fairly easy to spot the Russians in the foreigner areas in Korea, as they tend to dress a bit differently.
Many of the Korean night clubs have Russian dancers. During my first year, in Anyang (just south of Seoul), I went to a dance club where they had a little space for a dancer on either side of the stage. During the dance songs, a dancer would be in the little space in basically lingerie or a bikini or such. They weren't dancing so much as wiggling. Then during the breaks with slow songs, they would appear wearing evening gowns, and would wander around mingling with the crowd of drunk Korean men.
Anyway....
My friend/co-worker Kelly didn't believe me when I told her that I kept being asked if I was Russian... until she showed her mom a picture of me and that was EXACTLY what her mom asked. LOL.

3 comments:

Cairogal said...

I think I get Russian and Germas quite a bit-perhaps because they are both big travellers. I got Russia in the UAE, sadly, because they thought I was a prostitute. In Spain, I got German (tall big girls MUST be German, after all).

Julianna said...

I would have thought a more Germanic background. I get German or French. Both would technically be correct!

Amet said...

Merry X-Mas Laura :)