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White Guy Solidarity

November 14, 2011

Ahhh! Time passes quickly here. There’s something about the work schedule, the time difference, and the proximity to youth that makes weeks just blow past. It’s been two months already. What the hell happened? I just got here… I’ve accomplished so little. Fuck.

Anyway, you probably wanted a Halloween post. Unfortunately, our favorite completely ridiculous day is more or less ignored by most Koreans. All the teachers at the school did scramble and get costumes together though. Our costume choices were very limited: they had to be something Korean kids would recognize, something that wasn’t in bad taste or horrifying, and something that a teacher could actually wear. Oh, and we had to put it all together within about 48 hours.

So I dressed up the way everyone wanted me to: as Draco Malfoy.

Other than a relatively tame and abbreviated party for the kids, there wasn’t really much else to mention about Halloween here, so I’m going to write about white guy solidarity!

See, as a straight white male, I was used to being the alarming majority everywhere I go. Obviously here in Korea, it doesn’t quite work like that. They spread white guys around out of fear of us taking their women or learning how Koreans play Starcraft. So on those occasions where I do see a fellow confused white guy wandering around this country, I have a little moment where we share a nod or a knowing look. Sometimes we even stop and chat.

A little something that says “Hey man, we’re both really far from home. We must have weirdly similar and yet different lives”.

This is entirely new to me. Since a fellow white guy at home is incredibly common, I don’t talk to or look at strangers. My mom told me at an early age that that’s a good way to get stabbed! Here, though, I’m so far from my tribe that I do feel the need to give a little acknowledgement, and I see that same need in other straight white dudes around me, whereas back home a nod and a smile to a fellow man would be interpreted as “the gay”. This same sense of solidarity doesn’t happen with girls here either, because there’s potential for either side misinterpreting it as flirty signals. Lone white guys though, the highest possible demographic for stabbing and serial killing, are the most comforting thing in the world here.

That’s it, really. We don’t become friends or hang out or anything. Just a little comforting nod, which is sometimes all you need.

I’ve been writing other things instead of this blog lately. Most of the attempts I’ve made have been pretty damn unsuccessful. I’ll be back real soon (I know I said that last time, but this time it’s REAL soon) with pictures!


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  1. James permalink

    Where ya been? Pick it up!

  2. aaaw, Kevin~ So you DO have a soft spot among all your sharp edges and angles! ^^ (haha, juuuust kidding)

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