Wednesday, October 27, 2010

B is for Blood Type

I kept myself up watching Sex and the City reruns until the wee hours of the morning last night so it was rough when I woke up early to visit the bank today. This was my first time having to exchange money here so I was a tiny bit nervous. When I first arrived I just did a quick ATM withdrawal, that was easy. On Andrea’s recommendation I went to KB Bank.
I was more than concerned about how this transaction was going to take place given that I speak no useful Korean, have my passport but not my foreigner/alien registration card yet, and I still don’t have a bank account either.  Goodness knows no bank in the States will help you with directions, let alone financial issues, if you don’t have an account with them.  I couldn’t convince myself to drag someone to help me so early so I went alone.  

I immediately approached the only teller available and it was only slightly obvious that everyone was trying not to stare at the blonde hair, blue eyed creature that just walked through the door.  We exchanged our Korean hello’s and it was pretty clear that my Korean vocabulary was maxed out.  I pulled out my American money and she handed me a form.  I filled out my name, $ amount, and passport number.  She motioned that she will be right back and true to her, ummm, gesture, within 2 minutes she was back with a pile (albeit small) of Korean won.  That was easy.  Who needs to learn Korean anyway?

In case you were wondering, KB Bank is on the corner of This Way and That Way.  See…
Street Sign
This Way and That Way. I live that way ->

All the street signs look like that.  That’s why I can’t wander too far from home yet.

After the bank I decided it was Starbucks time.  Nothing could be as hard as I anticipated the bank to be, right?
It was actually pricier than it’s American counterpart.  I didn’t think that was possible. It was about $5.50 for a grande chai latte (sans vanilla for ease of ordering). And they only have tall and grande sizes, no venti.  Who really needs a venti  coffee anyway?  My latte tasted exactly how I expected it to so that was a nice surprise. There is really only one major difference at the Korean stores and as an American, I feel completely screwed by Starbucks.  As many of you know I strongly dislike American Starbucks prepared offerings in the bakery department. It all tastes like it was prepared in a factory in Idaho and subsequently shipped at the convenience of the United States Postal Service. It tastes like preservatives.  This is what Korea gets in their bakery department…
The injustice of it all.

Then I came home and took a picture of myself because I looked awfully cute today. 
But the picture didn’t turn out very well. 

(I’ve been in a goofy mood all day today, my apologies.)

I had to switch my laundry before my nap and by “switch” I  mean rotate what was finished on the drying rack and add what was still in the washer from last night.  They don’t believe in dryers here.

Ok, so here’s my funny part and I will wrap this up.  Today in two of my classes we talked about stereotypes.  In order to get them to understand I asked what they know about American’s.  This is how we are known to the outside world ladies and gentleman…We are doing something wrong here.

blonde hair/blue eyes

we like hamburgers

no school uniforms

we always buy lunch, we don't like to cook

we have many boyfriend/girlfriend & husbands/wives



we only speak English in America

In Korea having a boyfriend or girlfriend is a big deal.  You truly don’t date someone unless marriage on the horizon.  The idea of losing a boyfriend or girlfriend is devastating to them. When I first got here my director asked if I had ever been married.  With a giant sigh of relief I responded no. (Not because I don’t want to be married, more because I do not want to be, or experience, a divorce.  Breaking up is hard enough without getting lawyers involved.) After the marriage question he asked if I had ever had a boyfriend.  Of course I answered yes, and he apologized instantly and profusely for the pain of losing that boyfriend must have caused.  I laughed (while simultaneously my stomach turned) wondering why he was so concerned.  Now I get it.  They don’t date here.  You find your person. You court. You fall in love. You get married. Easy, right?  No heartbreaks, no broken promises, no being mislead, just love.  I think that’s good.

(I realize that is the kindergarten version of it, but dating is taken much more seriously here. I think that’s the most important part.)

In America you are stereotyped by a million different things.  Here they stereotype you by your blood type.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A few of my classes last week even asked my blood type.  It’s pretty entertaining.  I had my kids explain the different types to me today so in case you are interested, here you go…

Type A - Astronaut-like according to my students
Best traits
intelligent, creative, sensible, reserved, patient, responsible
Worst traits
Sensitive, over earnest, stubborn, tense, conservative

Type B - B is for Bad
Best traits
Wild, active, doer, creative, passionate, strong
Worst traits
Selfish, irresponsible, unforgiving, unpredictable

Type AB - Genius or Psycho
Best traits
Cool, controlled, rational, sociable, unpredictable
Worst traits
Critical, indecisive, forgetful, irresponsible

Type O - Dislikes being subordinate
Best traits
Agreeable, sociable, optimistic
Worst traits
Stubborn, rude, arrogant, over-confident

I’m an O.  Just in case that isn’t as obvious to you as it is to me. 

Here is a funny article about it from Reuters. A and O are good. B and AB are not good.  People will be rejected from jobs because of their blood type, girls won’t date type-B’s.  As my students said, “B is for Bad.”

(Is that enough pictures, Matthew?)


  1. That was a great amount of pictures, Amy! Thank you for satisfying my whims! Keep it up!

    I'm glad the banking was easy for you!

    I would like to know where Mongnyeon Junction goes.

    As for Starbucks, I think it's a rip-off and I hope Koreans don't go there. You should ask some Koreans where they get the good coffee and the preservative-free pastries. I'm thinking the cupcake shop sounds good.

    Your apartment looks so cute! When your personals are done drying, take more pictures in there!

    I should know my blood type.

    I don't.

    That's bad, right? I think I am AB positive. I will ask my mom later.

    I am either a genius or psycho. Seems right.

  2. So do you get bonus points if you're AB positive, or is it still bad? Is it slightly better than AB negative? lol. I don't know my blood type either, but I should probably know this.

    I like the drying rack! We need one of those, we hang dry a lot of our clothes. Where did you get yours? Please don't tell me Korea, I can't afford to visit yet. haha

  3. Hi Andrea! I did get my rack here, sorry :( it came with the apartment.

    Matthew, if you would like to see where Mongnyeon Junction goes, then you will have to come visit me. :) and genuis or psycho? hmm, do I get a opinion in this?