TV is misleading
I’m sitting in the hall outside a stationery store with my wife’s dog Minnie on my lap. Three girls are sitting next to me talking as girls do. Then they get really quiet, and are clearly whispering about me. i hear one of them say ‘자신 있어?’ (‘Do you have the guts to do it?’), clearly they are considering talking to me in English. Another girl says ‘이태원 가, 너’ (‘Go to Itaewon’). Itaewon is a famous foreigner neighborhood in Seoul. The third girl says ‘아니야, 이태원이 외국인이 다 우리 말 하던데.’ (‘No, I heard the foreigners in Itaewon all speak Korean’).
I turned to them in disbelief and said ‘누가 그래? 이태원에 있는 외국인들이 누구보다 한국말 모르지, 쓸떼도 없잖아.’ (‘Who told you that? The foreigners in Itaewon speak less Korean than anyone. They never even have to use it.’)
I guess whenever TV cameras go to Itaewon, they go in search of (or wind up finding) the two foreigners there who speak decent Korean, giving the false impression that that’s where the smart foreigners live.