Of all the times we’ve heard Americans can’t tell Asians apart, let me tell you the reverse is true here in Korea. Some Koreans can’t tell foreigners apart.
I first noticed this in Korean class this semester.
In our textbooks, we have characters from around the world that have come here to learn Korean at Sogang. Through episodes from their lives in Korea, we learn the language. For example, American “Andy”, the main protagonist, is in love with “Mina” a beautiful young Korean. This semester, we also met “James” from Canada and “Hans” from Germany.
Every time our teacher posted picture of James or Hans on the board and asked, “Who is this?” the Asian women in class answered:
One of our students at the LG corporate camp, Jessica, cannot tell the difference between the foreign teachers. There are only three of us.
I imagine I’m easy to remember as the only woman. But Reid is Canadian, short, stout and brunette, while Brett is Australian, tall, lean and blonde. Still every day Jessica asks:
“Who just taught our Meetings class?”
“Who is our Public Speaking Teacher again, Brett or Reid?”
You’d think the Aussie accent would be a dead giveaway.
I told my mom this story. She told me that when she moved to the States she had the hardest time telling American men apart. And she married one.