Our school is predominantly Korean. Predominantly is actually too weak of a word, because there are literally less than five non-Koreans at our school. And one of them is a freshman girl, in the same grade as me.
And talking to her for a couple of moments gave me a bit of insight into her life. It was during lunch time, and our usual group of close friends had gathered around to have a chat while eating. Halfway through our lunch period, she talked about how her experience at a Korean supermarket was. This was actually quite impulsive, and I hadn’t planned to interview or question her one bit. But her many experiences that were relayed to me were so hilariously funny I decided to question her a bit.
She replied that when she entered a supermarket and approached a Korean lady who was giving samples, she would always get a suspicious glance or frown. Because an unspoken truth about Korean “supermarket culture” is that if you sample something, you somehow must buy the product. Apparently, the lady had assumed her to be one of the many who constantly just eat without buying. However, she gave the Korean lady a pleasant surprise by asking in her perfect Korean accent if she could have one. And the lady had been so surprised that she offered even more samples to eat while looking around.
As the interview went on, she playfully said that she never failed to get more food with that method. Saying she had even gotten Korean fish-shaped bread for free one time. What I realized at the end of the interview was how someone’s experience at the same place can be so diverse, and that my daily routine could be such a cultural shock for another.
Ashley Kim / New Covenant Academy 9th Grade
<Ashley Kim / New Covenant Academy 9th Grade