If I was walking around in Itaewon, I certainly wouldn't greet every foreigner I saw. That would be crazy. When I'm downtown in my city, where foreigners aren't as common, I'll often say "hi," or give them a nod as we pass on the street. There isn't any use, in my mind, in pretending that we didn't notice another one of ourselves walking toward us. There have been debates about this on Dave's Cafe: "To Greet or Not to Greet." I say why not err on the side of friendliness? At the very least, what's it going to hurt to throw someone a smile?
I live in a little town. It a suburb, really of a larger city and foreigners are like unicorns here. Rarely spotted, I sometimes have a hard time believing that I'm not just the only one of my kind. So when one unicorn spots another 'round these here parts it's a special day. A rainbow day. With butterflies!
Yesterday I was walking around in the daylight, which is sort of unusual for this here vampire, and I spotted another unicorn. A white one! A NEW ONE! So I trotted on up to the crosswalk where he was waiting for the lights to change. He turned to look at me and nothing registered. El Cara Blanco. And then he turned away. And then my brain went "OH NO HE DI'INT!!" So I stuck my cara in his cara. "Hi! I'm Jelly!"
He stuck out his hand and said, "Jason. Where are you from?" (I then half expected his next three questions to be "Teacha? How old are you" and "Are you married?")
He told me where he was from, but I don't remember what he said. I asked him if he was new around here,...because I KNOW he is new around here. He said, "No. I've been here a couple weeks."
Huh? So then I asked him if he was an English teacher, because, like, he doesn't understand the meaning of the word "new?" Turns out he teaches at a very small school in the countryside. My co-worker was telling me yesterday that there are "only seven grade fives." and I asked "You mean seven classes of grade five students?"
"No. Seven grade five students!"
I can't believe that school even has a foreign teacher! Maybe Jason is freaked out about how easy his days are. He told me he was a teacher and "I taught grade 2, 3 and 5 today." I couldn't decide what to do with that information, so I told him I had toast and eggs for breakfast.
I know I only got my PhD in Psychology through an order-by-mail website, and that I only met Jasonicorn for about 5 minutes, but I feel confident enough to diagnose him with severe Autism with a side order of weird. Either that, or the guy is seriously depressed. As I smiled and spoke calmly, he'd screw up his face - knitting his eyebrows and wrinkling hs nose, shaking his head back and forth as if he was going to answer "no" regardless of what I was asking. As the light changed and we crossed the street I noticed a big glowing ball in the sky setting through the haze and maybe Jason thinks I'm weird now because I said aloud "Is that the sun?" and he answered "Probably." (It was glowing so bright and whitish it could have been the moon. I didn't think it was a UFO or something.)
Jason asked in monotone (Aspergers?) if I was going that way, because he was going the other way and good-bye, and he shuffled off.
I guess I'm not going to be friends with the new kid in town.
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