Whoa there!

We are in Seoul, South Korea for the winter break holiday. Today is officially lunar New Year’s Day – Happy Year of the Rabbit!

We celebrated today by visiting Gyeongbokgung, the smaller, but nonetheless very impressive – Korean equivalent of the Forbidden City – the seat of government during the dynastic era in Korea. It’s beautiful!

While we were there, we happened upon a large crowd of Chinese sociology students who were touring the palace along with holding some kind of exchange with their Korean counterparts. I casually wandered over to read the big banner near their group (written in Chinese). As I was doing so, the kids naturally garnered the students’ attention. As their attentions were focused on me, I casually waved and wished them all a happy new year in Chinese. At this, they all started screaming in my direction while jumping up and down, and for a second I thought surely something was terribly wrong. I grabbed onto JM’s sleeve and held on for dear life, and grabbed Leo with the other hand – ready to avert any oncoming danger.

Then I just realized they were reacting to a foreigner speaking Chinese outside of their home country. Whoa there folks! It is a good thing I do not get this kind of reaction every day in China, or life would be way too exciting!

We wish you all every good thing in this New Year! May you live long and prosper!!


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February 2011
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