Before leaving America for Korea, I heard people complain about the prevalence of American culture. I never thought much about it. Didn’t know much about it. And I didn’t really care.
Then I came here. And every day I walk into this haze of American/European/Korean/Chinese/Japanese and who-knows-what-else mix of modern Korean culture. The first things I notice are the things I recognize. So I’ve come to recognize Konglish, but I don’t know Korean. I can read half the signs, but not the ones in Korean or Chinese. And I’m getting better at figuring out what the translation is trying to say.
But I was still floored when I stopped for breakfast and coffee at MMMG in Seoul. It was just before heading home on a Sunday morning and the place was empty. And it looked like the shop had just dropped down from Third and Third in SLC. It was hipster cool American-style. All at once. It was simply overwhelming. I found myself shoveling down my cereal and banana as fast as possible. I needed to get back to Korea. I was too freaked out by just how homey this place felt. (Seriously, this is Nobrow’s paranormal universe self.)
I finished my coffee and bolted. From the perfectly adorable bookshelf to the straight from ModCloth cool coffee mug to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, I suddenly felt like I was home. The burst of nostalgia was too much. I couldn’t take it any more. I headed for the subway back to my Korean country home.