If there is one major thing I have learned about myself living in Korea over the past seven months, it’s that I am not a naturally curious person. Which is weird to me, I sometimes think I would should be a curious person because for some reason I feel like not being one means I just don’t care. Which is completely untrue.
For example, I was sitting at my desk the other week when all of the sudden this ridiculously loud siren starts blaring outside. I thought to myself that is a really loud noise, and it’s kind of annoying. I didn’t ask “what is that?” and no one in my office paid any mind to it so I quickly forgot the incident even happened. I found out from some friends later that night that the sound was a practice drill for if/when North Korea decides to invade. Whoa. I feel like that is important information for me to know and no one at my school thought to say “hey, that noise? yeah, if that happens for real jump under your desk or something.”
I have to sit in a weekly meeting every Monday at my school. Nothing is translated for me and rarely ask what is going on. Sometimes I am missing out on some hilarious stuff too, because there are a few teachers at my school who love to complain. Meh. I have recently started to practice learning my geography during this time, I feel I am not particularly smart in that area. (And now I know the capital of Lousiana.)
The one time I really appreciate my lack of curiosity though is when I read a book or watch a movie. I never sit there and think what is going to happen? I need to know! I just let myself get 100% lost in the story and I often feel the emotions of the characters. I vividly remember bawling my eyes out and hitting the pages of a book once when I was a teenager, I was so mad at this one heroin. This past week I have been grinning from ear to ear while watching my newest Korean drama (Shining Inheritance) because things are finally starting to get resolved (and the main characters shared their first kiss, haha!).
One final thought on being a naturally non-curious person. I like it. I started reading the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling when the first book was published in the USA in 1998, I was in seventh grade. I happened to be in England (by chance) when the final book was released, July 21st, 2007. (This meant I got a cool British version with different cover art and words spelled like pyjamas and favourite.) For almost ten years I had been reading this story, and never once was I determined to find out, or figure out how it was going to end. I hated the characters Rowling wanted me to hate and I fell in love with her heroins. Every twist in every book, throughout the whole plot, was a surprise to me (or if I saw it coming I was still surprised because I forgot I couldn’t believe I figured it out) and it made my journey with Harry so much more fun.
On a side note at the beginning of every English class I teach I ask the students “How are you?” in order to get them to stray away from the traditionally taught “I am fine, and you?” I make them answer how they are really feeling. I was just walking down the hall pass a class of students going from point A to B when one boy shouted out (amongst the many “hi teacher” and “hello teacher!”) “I am happy!”
It made my day.