Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Brushes with "Fame"

If you are going to be an expat in South Korea, it's quite key to have opinions on things.

Why might one need more opinions here than anywhere else, you might wonder. The answer to that question rests with whatever idiot university and high school and middle school teachers have decided it's a great thing to give their kids an assignment to interview foreign people. None of the expats of my aquaintance have ever admitted to doing such a thing. And if it isn't the kids, it's the TV people. Before I moved here I had been interviewed all of twice: once in high school about drunk driving by teens and once in Scotland by BBC radio regarding the peace demos preceeding the war in Iraq (I'm pretty sure they were hoping I was American).

Since getting here, I've done two TV interviews. The first was in Hongdae during my first contract. It was nominally about interracial dating, but the questions were definitely skewed. They seemed to want the two foreign chicks to say that foreign guys take advantage of Korean women; however, they did kindly buy us some coffee after we attempted to diplomatically answer their questions. The second interview I conducted in an incredibly hungover state and was asked what I thought about intellectual property rights as they relate to the AIDS crisis in Africa. No, I'm not kidding. Not something you really feel prepared to answer on a hungover Sunday while heading out to get pancakes.

More commonly, though, are the student interviews. Generally they are about Korean food or the tourist experience in Seoul (which I'm not sure I have much to say about, actually). Now these interviews are generally quite annoying. Without fail, they always occur when I'm running late or something.

Last night was the most interesting interview I've had so far. It was a group of four university students and they interviewed me about homosexuality. If I'm going to be stopped on the street for looking like I speak English, at least this was an interesting set of questions to answer. It wasn't an extensive set of questions - just what did I think of it (it's normal), did I have any homosexual friends (umm, yeah), what did I think of Korean conservative attitudes towards homosexuality (Canada was conservative once too, and I hope things continue to liberalize here as they did in Canada) and what I thought of gay marriage (I'm for it.)

Then they took a picture and we all threw up peace signs. As you do.


Cairo Typ0 said...

When i was in Alexandria i was accosted for sevearl such interviews but none had such thoughtful questions.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I had to do an interview once last semester and I never knew it was so hard to think of good questions to ask people.