Fried chicken: perfect to cure my hunger! The ancient magic from playing the janggu, whiffing in the crisp air at the Jodo Islands, and connecting with the exuberance of Seoul’s streets took my breath away. My travel book and Google images fantasies turned into realities. Korea flourished my wanderlust along with my ravenous appetite.
After performing Samulnori in the evening and later dancing to Korean pop music with my peers at night, my legs felt weak and my vision became foggy. A slow current of numbness drained my stomach, and sharp daggers of pain attacked my abdomen. If I didn’t eat soon, my intestines would get swallowed by the void inside my body. Finally! The fried chicken arrived at 10 p.m., and the greasy goodness aroma lured me like a kid in a candy store. I then shoved my face into strange, lackluster chewy pieces of meat that KFC would never sell.
From day one, I always knew that I was adopted from South Korea at four months old but never over thought my chinky eyes and black hair compared to my Swedish-German blue-eyed and blonde family. But once six-year-olds started questioning why white people were in my family photos, I was perceived as this Asian-orphan-Annie and crucified for being apathetic towards a culture that I have no memory of. They were astonished to find out that I was not from the land of Mulan nor sushi, and there was nothing more I wanted than to bury my Chinese-Japanese ish heritage to culturally fit in with my friends and physically fit in with my family.