Monday, April 25, 2011

The fever (I don't have it)

A lot of my friends here have Yellow Fever. It's a pretty common stereotype that all the foreign men in Korea came here to meet pretty little Asian girls, but a decent number of my white girl friends will admit to having a touch of the Fever.

(Before I get too far, I want to clarify that I'm not being racist when I use the term Yellow Fever. Basically it's my way of saying that my friends find themselves sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex who exhibit physical characteristics that clearly have descended from Asian ancestry. That's a lot to say, and it makes it sound more like I'm studying the mating habits of some kind of exotic animal, so I'm going to stick with Yellow Fever. Also, when you're here, people are surprisingly more okay with racial epithets than in the US. I was always so afraid of not coming across as completely PC at home, but here, my pastor refers to himself as a Twinkie - yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Whole different world.)

Aside from the boy at the bank (with whom I am still desperately in love), I haven't found myself attracted to many Asian men. The flip side of that coin is that I love white boys.

Like, a lot.

Maybe too much.

The other day, I was walking down into the subway station when a boy with shaggy brown hair appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Our eyes met when we crossed paths in the middle, and I felt my stomach flip flop a little. The second I was past him, I honestly had to fight to keep my feet moving in the direction I had originally planned to go; every fiber in my being wanted to chase this stranger up the stairs and find out where he was going. Then go there with him.

This wouldn't be restraining-order-creepy if it only happened the one time (and no, I didn't follow him). Sadly, it happens all. the. time. It's like my bar for potential mates has dropped from "at least mostly attractive" to "white".

Is it just me, or is he sexy?

I don't actually ever talk to any of these men I pass in the street because (1) they probably have Yellow Fever and are not even a little bit interested in a white girl and (2) I'm kind of afraid I'd get them back to the States and realize they look like that guy in the picture. It's like being surrounded by Asians has given me a really bizarre form of beer-goggles, and my qualifications for a future husband have suddenly whittled themselves down to simply "speaks semi-fluent English". I'm honestly a little nervous about going back to the States in the fall and being surrounded by average, run-of-the-mill white boys. Someone's going to have to follow me around to make sure I'm not handing out my phone number to guys named Cleetus.

Apparently I've passed along my affinity for the white boys to my students; here's Grace during her very first introduction to Justin Bieber.

I'm oddly proud of the damage I'm inflicting on the next generation of Koreans.

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