Being a foreigner here in Korea is nothing like I have ever experienced before, especially since I come from the USA where it is common place to see many people from different racial backgrounds. I get a mixture of reactions when I go walking down the streets here in Seoul. Some people think that I am just another Korean person so they begin speaking to me in Korean. Most, however, know that I am a foreigner and proceed to stare. Young children whisper to their moms “look at the foreigner” and junior high and high school students use the opportunity to practice their English (after a lot of embarrassing giggles).  As you can imagine, a simple walk to the grocery store can sometimes feel a little alienating. On my good days, I feel like a celebrity, on the bad….well. So, you can imagine that if I get this kind of treatment, what must Daniel be going through? No one confuses him as Korean…they mostly just stare, whisper, or embarrassingly ask him if he speaks in English.

One day, after Daniel’s Korean class at Seoul National University, a fellow foreigner approached him and asked him if he would like to be in some pictures that the University was taking. They promised him pizza……so how could he refuse. They took a number of shots in different locations, asking the participating students to act like they were studying or listening to an interesting lecture. And that was that. They told Daniel that these pictures might appear online or on some publication in the future. Well, here it is. Daniel is an official celebrity. A poster child for Seoul National University’s “diverse” student body (1).

Here is the link to the site where the picture is: click here. When you access the site you will see a large picture on the right hand side of the screen. Keep watching the picture, it changes between four different photos. Daniel’s in one of them…can you find him?

One of the girls who was at the photoshoot with Daniel sent him some of the photos that were taken that day.

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Not only did Daniel get free pizza, but he met a friend there as well. They have met a few times to play basketball and have lunch. He is in some of the pics above. Look for a Korean guy in a green shirt.

I wrote “diverse” in quotations because Seoul National’s student body is basically 99% Korean. But in most of their ads (like many of the ads here in Seoul), they feature at least one or two foreigners.

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