My arrival day
I recognized the American couple that I had seen on a photo.
I was told by the lady who gave me the photo that the couple would be my new American appa and oemma (respectively dad and mom in Korean). My thought then was: "The American lady is well-dressed and pretty but she doesn't look like an oemma, she wears too much of make-up; the American man can't be an appa, he is too fat."
I was still having the same thought in front of them when the yellow-haired woman grabbed me. She hugged me, she touched my face , she took me in her arms, she touched my hair, she touched my arms and she talked non stop in her strange language. Meanwhile, the babies who had travelled with me were given to other Americans. It was very noisy. Everybody was crying and talking aloud. The yellow-haired woman was still hugging me and she gave me a kiss. Yuck!
If you want to know how I felt among these strangers, take a look at the faces of children on the video From Russia, For Love posted by Kerry at http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/20936
Other Americans left with the babies - one baby for each couple - and the room became quiet. The fat man lifted me to make me sit on a high bar stool, then he left. The yellow-haired American touched me again while talking to other men at the bar. They were all staring at me. I heard them saying "cute" and "pretty".
I was embarrassed and felt very uncomfortable. To avoid watching them, I took a few sips of a Seven-Up, my first soft drink. I almost burped, I found it funny,I pinched my nose several times. I realized the men were still staring at me and I knew they were all talking about me. I heard them saying again "cute" and "pretty". I was very shy.
The yellow-haired lady started talking with them. It gave me time to look around me. At that time, I didn't have enough knowledge or vocabulary to describe the new world. I thought: "Am I dreaming?" I didn't have time to answer.
The yellow-haired lady hugged me again and again until her fat husband appeared. He said something to her (details at http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/21210 )
The yellow-haired lady took my had and started running fast. I had difficulty to follow her. She stopped in front of a door. Inside the room, there were several doors. She took out a coin from her purse and inserted it in a slot of a door. The door opened... an american style toilet! I was stunned. I thought: "The Americans are crazy, they have to pay to pee! Americans are rich!"
The American lady started peeing in front of me. I blushed. I had never seen a naked adult in my life before. I turned my head toward the door but driven by curiosity, I casted a quick glance at her. The poor American was hairy as a monkey! Oh no! I didn't want to become like a monkey! Each time my brother had menaged to make me laugh when I was crying, he told me: "If you cry and laugh at the same time, hair will grow on your bottuck." Using a body language and making a noise with her mouth like a monkey, the American told me it was my turn to pee. I shooked my head: I didn't want to pee in front of a stranger...
We met the fat man again. One of them gave me a pink teddy bear and the lady clothed me in a snowsuit. I had never seen such toy and such cloth before. It was cold outside, it was the night. I felt alone with the two strangers in this amazing place. To hide my shyness and my distress, I took off my identification bracelets to put it on it's arms, I looked at it and held it tight. The layd said: "Pierrot". I understood it was it's name - a strange name.
They made me sit between them in a taxi. The yellow-haired American kissed me non stop on my cheek. Yuck! Yuck! I was tatally disgusted but too shy to show my disgust. I felt like if my cheek was all wet. (FYI, Koreans didn't kiss at that time. Maybe their culture has changed since then). Whenever I had a chance, I wiped my cheek discreetly with my hand.
To make things worst, I needed to pee! I couldn't wait longer! The American lady asked the driver to stop. She behaved like my owner - she stayed near me while I was peeing as if I was her dog...
Next thing I remember is being in another plane, I was again between them. There were only two stewardess in the plane. The yellow-haired lady talked them not stop. The stewardess coudln't place a word but one of them told me "cute-cute" from time to time as if I was a little baby. As usual, her fat man stayed quiet. I thought he must be shy as I was...
We were in a huge indoor parking. I understood the fat man was looking for their car. I thought Americans must be very very rich to own a car. Meanwhile, the American lady talked on the public phone (with her mother in Canada). I thought "My American parents are rich". While she was talking, I had time to cast a look in her purse where I saw many compartments filled with coins. (I hallucinated, few days later, when I opened the purse, there was no such compartment in her purse).
We arrived at their house. An old lady was waiting us (I learned later that she was one of their employees). The lady started talking to her. Whenever she had the chance to say something, the old lady looked at me and said something like: "cute...cute...pretty.." in the same voice adults take when they talk to babies. I understood then what cute and pretty meant.
Despite my fatigue, I noticed how the house was huge. It was like being in another planet or in a science fiction movie. I felt like if I was dreaming but I knew it was for real.
The yellow-haired lady finally took to my bedroom. I thought: "I'm a princess". I had never seen such room, all decorated and with such beautiful furnitures. The lady gave me a pyjama. I was a big girl, I wanted to do it myself alone. The American understood me and left the room.
In Korea, a family of 7 to 10 persons could sleep in such room but I was going to sleep alone. After going to bed, I felt very alone and anxious but I preferred to think I was going to live like a princess in this country of fairy tales called USA.
I knew I was going to be spoiled by my new American parents before going back to Korea...
My arrival day was the most exhausting and incredible day I had in my life.