Stranger in a strange land

Without trying to sound dramatic or to appear tragic, I'm not particularly afraid of social isolation or being viewed as a freak and an outsider. I've had a taste of that, and it's a familiar place, at least. Therefore, I haven't been that nervous about this upcoming trip. Up 'til now. Suddenly, I'm faced with a situation where I have to (get to*) live and interact with a completely strange family of people who are kind enough to accommodate me until I find a more suitable housing solution. And I'm bloody terrified.

I know Kawaiii thinks I'm a great people-person because I can chat with just about anyone – for a limited amount of time. In reality my social skills fail me pretty often when I have to be in extended contact with most people and I soon run out of things to prattle on about.

If I lived by myself – or in a dorm room, which is almost the same – I'd be OK with the fact that I don't quite fit in. From what I've read, and from a few fairly long emails I've exchanged with Gord, I've come to understand that Korea houses a pretty closed and conservative society. I think I understand a "non-person" treatment I may be receiving, and I've had to come to terms with the fact that my overweight makes me some sort of a freak. I'm a tattooed, non-feminine, single female with pink hair. I can't estimate how much worse that is. ^__^'

I thought about it before, but Gord's (and Lime's) reaction toward my pink hair in Korea has brought me to the decision to - gasp - dye it brown. I've been fed up with the eternal battle of root growth for a while now, so I'm probably going for the mousey brown that is my actual hair colour... and which I haven't seen in maybe 15 years. It'll be some sort of novelty, then. Some might say that I'm bowing under peer pressure, but I figure it's a matter of "when in Rome". If I decide to do something drastic while I'm there, at least I will be making an informed decision.

I never thought that it would be such a big issue, though.

But, wow. I don't think I've been this nervous about anything in a long time. The family stay thing is really getting to me. What if they hate me?

Having said all that, still I think this is what I live for. I don't know what it is that makes me go ahead and throw myself into situations where I'm left all in the open, away from everything safe and familiar. All I know is that I need to challenge myself and to face the world and, I guess, to dare something to happen. I think I mentioned it before, but maybe it comes down to a certain kind of self-destructive tendency (hey – at least I don't do drugs, or try to drink myself to death). That, and at the same time the extreme feelings and situations make me feel alive.

I'm testing myself, half believing I'll have to lose eventually, and half convinced I can pull through anything, one way or another. But to what end, that I don't know.

*from what I've read and heard, getting "into" the Korean culture is a challenge, and that getting invited into someone's home is a rare occurrence, and an honour.

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