First 48 Hours in Seoul

Well, I’m here.

The first 48 hours have been wild. Just coming out of Incheon Airport was overwhelming after a 13-hour flight. I will say this, the Koreans have public transportation down to a T. Getting an airport limousine ticket (think peter pan bus, but a lot better and a lot more efficient) and arriving at your location is incredibly easy, even someone with not a lot of common sense can do it. Of course, this is something sometimes I lack and well, I missed my bus stop. The poor bus driver freaked out and then decided to leave me in Itaewon, a neighborhood in Seoul known for foreigners, and told me to take a taxi. I hailed one (my first time ever hailing a taxi), tried to communicate, did not communicate effectively, the taxi drove away. Frantic, I see a white person who I just assumed spoke English, she did, and was able to eventually find my way to the place where I am staying. What should have been an hour to arrive at my destination, turned into a four-hour fiasco.

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Me: I’m so proud that I was able to buy this out of a machine. Everything will be great! Narrator: Everything would not be great.

The first full day here, I decided to walk down the street to get to know my neighborhood. I casually happen to see a really large building (an understatement of the century) and decide it would be fun to spend 30 minutes exploring. I stayed there for four hours. Little did I know what I was walking into… “I’Park Mall is an impressive shopping center in terms of size. It’s 1.6 times as large as the 63 Building (the tallest building in Seoul) and 2.3 times as large as COEX Mall. The mall houses over 3,600 shops, located from the third basement level to the mall’s ninth floor. The shopping center has almost everything: home products, discounted clothing, restaurants, the CGV IMAX 11, and more!” It was wild and it was a good thing that I had left most of my money back home. It was over 9 floors and it was just… one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen. The rest of the day I spent in my apartment settling in and buying groceries from Emart. Emart… that was also an overwhelming experience, but this is something will right about in another post.

The next day, I mainly stayed in my apartment because I still have finals I need to finish. I got a really nasty stomach virus that I ended up in the ER room (Thank you, Rachel, for taking me!). Long story short, I have a lot of papers I have to write. I was able to go on a great food tour with the man Seoul eats with a lovely group of travelers. Ate really good food and had really great conversation. 10/10 would recommend.

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Us enjoying our first meal of many on this tour.

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Us enjoying our last meal. Yes, that is a cheese in the middle.

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The squid are in season. You can tell because their heads are so large and filled with eggs.

Overall, the first 48 hours have been… overwhelming. I feel like this is going to be my word to describe this trip at large. Really… overwhelming, but amazing. I cannot believe that I am here, in South Korea, doing research, by myself. I have a lot of thoughts and opinions about everything has happened at and between these events, but this is all I have to write for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling out Online Publications

I originally thought that I was going to post about South Korea on my post, instead, I’m going to post a think piece I wrote last night instead of sleeping before my trip. I submitted it to the Huffington Post, so we’ll see how that goes.

Where are the Asian Voices in the Huffington Post?

The past two years have been incredible for Asian Pacific Americans in regards to visibility. Now, more than ever, mainstream media has finally picked up on the discussions the community has been having for years. Whether it is white washing in Hollywood films, discussing the model minority myth, talking about hate crimes, or the murders of Muslim Americans and South Asian Americans, our voices are finally being heard, or are they?

The month of May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month, and usually, in my experience, it is rather lack luster. In fact, I didn’t even know that the Asian Pacific American community had a month until two years ago. To my surprise, when I opened my Spotify, they had created a page featuring music or curated playlists by Asian and Asian American artists. Looking through the playlists, I felt something that I cannot quite label yet; however, it is a feeling that I did not realize that I needed.
A few days ago, I saw an article circulating amongst some of my Asian friends on Facebook about how Asian Americans have the highest poverty rate in New York City, published by The Huffington Post. When I clicked the link, I noticed that the aesthetic had changed from since the last time I looked at the website, so I decided to take a look around. On the drop down menu, you have a ton of different categories to choose. One that piqued my interest wasScreen Shot 2017-05-10 at 12.01.54 PM.png Voices. Within Voices, are a list of subcategories of groups, with links to pages that have various articles that have been cross-listed in one spot. It includes Black Voices, Women, Queer Voices, Latino Voices, Fifty, and Parents. Nowhere in this category lists Asian voices. In fact, Asian Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 12.02.01 PMvoices are not even listed anywhere on the navigation tool. Disgruntled, I was going to write this article to explain why there should be an Asian Voices page—it’s not like we don’t have activists, culture critics, and other means of expression. Ironically, all of the links above are articles directly from the Huffington post, and there are plenty more, so where is our page?

Funny enough, when I googled “Asian American Huffington post” to find articles to prove my point, I stumbled across an article explaining how the Huffington post acknowledges that there is a lack of space on the internet for Asian voices, so they created one. I was pleased to know that it existed, but then I questioned: If there’s a page that was established (in January of 2017), why is it not featured in the navigation menu? Part of me thought that maybe it was because the Huffington Post doesn’t have an active Asian reading population and they’re waiting for it to build. But, then I investigated more and discovered that their Facebook community, Brazen Asians, has over 15,000 followers.

My question remains: Where are the Asian voices in the Huffington Post? They publish countless articles about how the Model Minority erases the issues facing the Asian American community and other issues that render the community invisible, yet they have rendered the community even further by not featuring Asian Voices in their navigation bar. Am I petty? Perhaps. But, even the tiniest of slights can build and contribute to larger societal issues.

 

 

My life is a spectacle

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my blog, travel journal, brain dump, and general inner workings of my mind. I have always wanted to start a blog, but for a multitude of reasons never did. Now that I’m older, although not much wiser, I feel a lot more comfortable in expressing myself and would like a general outlet to dump all of my thoughts. You may be reading this and think, well why don’t have I have a journal? I do, but it’s more for a stream of thought process. This website is intended to push me as a writer and thinker about myself and my positionality in the world. Follow me on my adventures and non-adventures if you want and watch me struggle through life as the picture below demonstrates wonderfully (Thank you, Sally, for the photo).

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I can’t exactly remember how I got in this position, but I do remember struggling to get up from it.