Sunday, December 18, 2005

From a Korean point of view

I thought i'd share with you China through the eyes of one of my Korean classmates, who also has some interesting stories to tell. Like most of us foreign students her life isn't 100% sweetness and light here...

One incident she found extremely frustrating happened while buying fruit. After choosing her fruit, she asked how much it would be, to which the vendor replied with a figure that well over the odds.
"Why so much?"
"Because you are Korean, and these fruit come from Korea, you should pay the Korean price for them." "But we're in China, not Korea." "Still that's the price. Do you want them?" Feeling the xenophobic attitude oozing out of the man she replied "If you don't want to sell them to me, why did you even bother offering?".

This incident was compounded further by the mindless comment of out conversation teacher when told about it. "why don't you put more make up on when going to buy fruit then?". Subsequently told that this was an excercise in buying fruit, not a night out on the town, she still didn't seem to see a problem.

So, it's not just westerners who are the brunt of the xenophobia, even people from other Asian countries are regarded as walking purses and opportunity for extracting as much money as possible. Even in the most basic daily activities this is what we have to face when intereacting with some people. Sometimes it makes me glad i'm going home soon.


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