So there are a few things I have learned in the 3 1/2 weeks I have been here. The first is that Koreans love babies with Blue Eyes and light skin. Second is that they are very blunt and will tell you what they think no matter what.
Every time we go somewhere, we can be stopped or walking, people will drop what they are doing to admire Audrey. There was a young man on the subway shortly after we got here that walked from his end of the subway car that we were in to the other end where we were just to stand next to Audrey and stare at her. Every time we get on the subway people just stare and some of them will interact with her and talking Collin in their language about her age and how pretty she is and cute. Yesterday was about the third time that I noticed the most odd thing ever. In the states most of the time if people really just want to touch your baby they generally say "can I touch your baby?" Or if they are really brave they will ask, "Can I hold her." At that time I usually will let Audrey be the judge of if she wants to go or not and unless she really knows you, or knows your a good friend of mommy or daddy her body language clearly says leave me alone! However in Korea there is no asking. People jump at the chance to touch her. I will look down and someone has her hand or touching her hair or her face or something. If they can't get to anything else they reach for her feet that will be sticking out somewhere. I had a woman actually push through several people one time on a very busy subway just to stand next to me and my daughter. funny but a bit creepy. However that is not what happened yesterday, yesterday I had a man probably in his mid 40's reaching for Audrey wanting to hold her. Never asked or anything. The look no his face said it all look at this baby, if only I could hold her. Audrey however did not let go of me. In fact she clung a little tighter. The best he did was hold out a hand to him as if to say, "Touch only please" One day on the subway a couple weeks ago an older woman, a typical grandma type, was watching her, smiling at her, touching her, and then all of the sudden reached for her and Audrey nearly lunged to be with the elderly lady. I looked at Collin with panic stricken eyes and he grinned and gave me a reassuring look as if to say, it is ok. He told me once we were off the subway that as weird as that is, it will become very common.
Well I am still not sure how "common" it has become to me and how much I appreciate it, but I am learning that it is not a weird occurrence.
Now to the bad parent part. Yesterday we went to the zoo and it was a warm day starting out. Even once getting to the zoo it was still a warm day. If you remember from a past post I had said how even in the 70's I find many people in long sleeve shirts and jeans. Well yesterday was low 70's and in the shade when the wind blew it possibly got into the high 60's. Anyway once we got to the tram to ride into the zoo there were 3 elderly ladies going on and on to Collin about how we do not have Audrey dressed appropriately and how it is too cold and she should have a jacket on. Ok so when we got in the shade and on the tram with the extra breeze from the movement it was cooler but Audrey never got cool. They went on to say that we are big people and it doesn't effect us like it does her little body and they just couldn't believe we didn't have a jacket on her. Collin assured them that we had a sweatshirt in the bag for her if she was to start getting cold. The elderly ladies did not see that to be a good answer and again told Collin that we are big and she is too small to not have a jacket on. The one lady closest to me, the one pushing the hardest talked directly to me (In Korean of course) but by her hand gestures I could tell she was telling me you are big much bigger, she is small and with giant hand gestures and emphasis on the words I could tell that yes she was calling me very very big! I get it, I didn't grow up on rice, I know I am big............ sheesh these woman are not kind about this. I nodded and looked at the ground. Collin better speak fast or get me off this tram cause I was ready to go off in English. I know how to dress MY daughter so back off! Finally we were at the zoo. I didn't say a word I looked at them and assured them to get off first then Collin and then I would follow I didn't want to even have to say good-bye at that point. Later the winds did pick up and I looked at Collin and said, "Ok, now we can put on her sweatshirt." Audrey was a little warm but, at least her ears were covered with the hood when the wind whipped through. At this point we figured we might as well just head home because the air was beginning to cool. STILL NOT COLD. IT WAS 65.5 OUT! Now on the way out I did realize I had forgotten something. Socks. I had left them sitting on the changing table at home. Collin and I bent down several times to feel her feet and thankfully they never felt cold but wouldn't you know on the way back to the subway I had a lady stop us and tell us that we really should have socks on her feet. Collin told her something in Korean and began walking again. I knew what the woman was getting at by her tone and reaching down to touch her feet. Collin was very short in what he said and so I let it go. When we got to the elevator I told Collin how the Koreans sure did make me feel like the worlds worst mom today.
Bottom line Audrey never got cold, and was a happy girl.
Oh yeah when we went to the petting zoo the ladies on the tram, the ones who insisted I didn't know how to dress my daughter were the ladies giving out the food for the animals, they were very pleased to see her in a sweatshirt.......... in fact they rewarded us.... oh yes they wanted to make sure they gave us extra carrots to feed the deer. After she gave me the extra carrots and said something in Korean I said Cumsumnida (ok don't know how to spell it but it means thank you) and looked at Collin and jokingly said, "aww they rewarded us for dressing our daughter properly!" Collin laughed and said, "That's exactly what just happened" Seriously people Seriously!