Monday, July 12, 2010

Don't Panic

I'm in our little room in Pohang, prepping for the English Camp that's about to begin and listening to Coldplay's 'Don't Panic' and being transported to London at night.

It's so bizarre how certain chord progressions and tones of voice can do that. It's as if home wraps itself inside of musical notes and tucks itself inside of secret parts of me. It means that when I play certain music I don't feel so odd or misplaced. I'm standing sure-footed and secure.

I'm definitely an oddity here in South Korea. In a sea of pale skin and dark hair, my bronzed brown and woolly 'fro is enough to stop the old and young from eating their weird stewed kebabs or from walking down the beach promenade to literally gawp at me.

Whether the staring is disbelief, amazement, horror or fear-I can't always tell. But Koreans are a curious people. Considering they've been on this peninsula so many centuries and survived the Japanese and other empires, they still seek and wonder at new things.

Yesterday when I was walking to the cafeteria, a small old man bowed and greeted me (even though I was wearing sunglasses-usually regarded as a social barrier). I was so taken aback at his small but sweet gesture I beamed all the way to my position in the queue.

I see that as God saying, 'I see you. I like how you look. You're welcome in this place.'

And that's all I needed.