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Why such marked unfriendliness here and in person?
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Clutch Cargo



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Location: Sim City 2005

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm feeling listless so I've cut&pasted my previous post on this topic:

So what's so hard about making eye contact with other Westerners, maybe a slight nod of recognition or even a "Hey." It's such a small, random act, costs nothing, and takes less effort to do than not to do.
If you're going to completely ignore an approaching stranger of similar culture then it's going to take some effort.
1. You must establish their physical similarities to you;
2. Calculate their approximate distance and speed of approach;
3. Factor in any variables such as their freakiness, escape routes, whether you are alone or with others. If you are with company you can turn to speak to them as the other foreigner, who had a lousy day trying to teach, felt isolated and alone and was wondering whether it was all worth it, approaches;
4. Then you need to determine a focal point for your averted eyes to be attracted to, such as a shop window, the ground, or some object ahead in the distance;
5. When the scary moment has passed and the Westerner has gone you can relax back into your usual happy-go-lucky self, safe in the knowledge that you are not treating people differently based on their race.

Or, you can just make brief eye contact and maybe say "Hey"

Sorry to bring this up again but the averted eyes "I can't see you even though we are walking towards each other in an uncrowded area" thing is in my opinion pretty stupid, completely contrived and boring. Not many of us look like freaks. It's not like you're movie stars or anything.
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jaderedux



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Lurking outside Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'll give an acknowlegement or how are going mate but the way i look at it is this. In Australia i don't say hello to random people on the street. I know we are in Korea and they are foreigners and we should stick together, blah blah but they are random people and some of the teachers I have met here, if I knew them I wouldn't say hello


GOOD LORD DOES ANYONE READ? I didn't say you have to say hello or anything else. I am not so lame as to NEED contact with anyone or "stick together attitude". In fact most of my friends are Korean because that is just the way it turned out.

However, if (read carefully) IF someone should make eye contact, nod or smile. I SIMPLY ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR EXSISTENCE. Nod, brief smile or whatever.....DO I STOP THEM AND ASK THEM FOR COFFEE....NO....DO I PLEAD WITH THEM TO STOP AND TALK WITH ME ....NO.....I also smile, nod or whatever to koreans that make eye contact.
I don't expect effusive response ! " Oh thank you white face stranger for talking to me....we are all foreigners together .....btw do you know the secret handshake? No! It is just a matter of courtesy. When did it become so hard to be courteous and kind. Guess that is out of style and apparently not cool.

I am sorry that you do not smile, nod or acknowledge people in general. Me personally I think that is kind of sad going through life ignoring everyone else on the planet. Walking head down or eyes in a steely stare forward never making human contact.....wooo hooo where do I sign up for that sterile existence?????

Actually I do smile and acknowledge people randomly, did that in Korea, England, Spain, America and Japan. If they smile, nod or say whaddup. I am not so special that I can't respond. I guess in my part of the world people are generally just more friendly. I guess I will stick with being totally uncool. I find I am a happier person for it.

You might have guessed that this is a pet peeve of mine. Most of the time my time is spent with Koreans, friends, bf etc. So I am not desperate for company or friends. Just think being kind and generous is relatively painless...some of you might want to try it. You might be surprised.

Soap box retired for the night. Laughing

Jade
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peppermint



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: traversing the minefields of caddishness.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that I smile at people in general, whatever color they are, if they make eye contact. Someone that I see often on the subway might warrant a "hi". Smile

Call me friendly! God knows I've been called worse.
Confused
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Hyalucent



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: British North America

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaderedux wrote:
.....btw do you know the secret handshake? No! It is just a matter of courtesy. When did it become so hard to be courteous and kind. Guess that is out of style and apparently not cool.



Maybe we should have a pin or something to let people know it's alright to be friendly to some of us. It could be a little happy face saying, "You have permission to be friendly to me." Everyone else could wear a frowning face, with a middle finger superimposed on it and flashing red lights saying, "Keep Back 50 Metres".

No happy face... no 'Hello'.

Hmm... a couple well-placed posts on Korean internet sites might even get the word out so that even Korean schoolchildren might seek out the pin before chorusing their "Hello! Hello! How ah you?"s.

The only people I could see being hurt by this would be friendly foreigners, fresh off the plane, who could possibly go several desperate months without somone talking to them-- until they finally hear it whispered: "Pssst. You don't have the pin." Cool
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are several factors involved here. Some apply to some foreigners and other factors to others.

Some to consider:

1) A significant number of foreigners working in Korea are here because they are geeks. They couldn't get within 5 miles of a public school back home without alarm bells going off.

2) A lot of the non-geek element were burned so many times in the early days of their time here that they are leary of other foreigners. It's the conditioned reflex from being trapped too many times in a conversation with people who are just flat-out strange.

3) Another contributing factor (in my opinion) is a reaction against the typical Korean expectation that you will be friends with anyone who happens to be a foreigner. Contrary to expectations, the accident of a common nationality or skin color does not make someone a potential friend.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Self-removed for being silly & offtopic*

I still cant find the delete function on this forum. Am I blind?


Last edited by schwa on Sat Oct 11, 2003 11:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ratslash



Joined: 08 May 2003

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

exactly what i mean jaderedux. if i do acknowledge someone in the street it doesn't automatically mean that i want to hop into bed with them. it is pathetic people think the opposite.
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I acknowledge people just like I would back home, eye brow thing or a smile. I've had the odd conversation with a person in the street or subway, which leads to a night out but I also do that back home.

But I also do that with the korean security people in my building although not too much coversation as I the other week I remarked that it was cold and I got a rant.

CLG
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schwa when you edit your posts, you should see a set of check boxes below the window you type in, and one of those should say "delete this post."

Just want to help you out.
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