What am I ?

Silly question, I’ve heard that a lot in Toronto, people look at my face not being able to put an ethnic tag on me and ask So ..  what are you ?  Then I answer them I’m a human being proud citizen of Earth ! Then they go like No I mean .. before you came here what are you? .. Still Human Born and Raised !.. Maybe what you are trying to say is Which ethnicity am I ? 

And a very interesting fact is, in Canada when people look at me on the first sight I know exactly what they think ” Nice Canadian Girl eh” Then they turn their head back again with big round eyes thinking “No Wait! Is she ?.. Russian ? Or maybe Spanish ? Is she mixed Asian ?? Why is she talking on the phone in this weird language ? What is she??”. Same story in Korea, people don’t pay attention too much thinking “Oh a nice Korean Girl” Then they turn their head back at light speed with a big question mark “OH MY GOD she’s not Korean what is she ?? Could she be Russian??”

I’ve never understood why people thought I was Russian, certainly not because of my better-than-average height nor my great ability to speak Russian! One of my boss (who is Russian btw..) told me he also thought I was Russian on the first sight because I have the same face of those people there who are 25 % Asian and 75% something else (due to certain invasion in the past, I didn’t get that part..), and my English name is also a popular name in Russia, as well as my nickname. Chances are my Korean name is popular there .. not that big thou. Indeed Marina is a very popular name in Russia, Japan, Spain, South America, the US,  everywhere but Canada haha. Nina, my nickname given by my parents, is also popular in the same countries. Yu-Rin is not popular at all, not even in Korea .. which explains now why I’m having troubles.. haha

Anyhow, to answer the question What am I .. I’m not sure myself but I collected a bunch answers since I’m born, I wrote it on little piece of papers and put it in a box. Let’s see what it says ..

I’m a second generation of immigrant parents, and I’m proud of my roots. Being mixed blood is a gift that comes along with multi-culturalism.

I like to classify and organize things so only me knows where things are. And dare you re-organize my desk!!

I enjoy cooking anything that doesn’t exist yet, or Korean Food, make videos and tutorials and post it online on my new website ^^ I also enjoy cooking for my family and my friends and give them the best of my talent meanwhile I can survive on peanuts when I’m alone.

I enjoy extreme sports and living my life at the edge, like scuba-diving and sky-diving. And when I write “Enjoy” I mean if I don’t do anything a bit extreme every 2 weeks I’m bored to death.

When I study for more than 2 months I’m so bored that I want to go back to work, when I work for more than 2 months I’m so bored that I want to go back to school, that’s why I always have a part-time job when I study or I always study something when I work, otherwise life doesn’t give me any good reason to live.

If I have nothing to study on the weekend I go somewhere I’ve never been to before. I love travelling so much that I can escape from my boss on Friday noon telling her I’ll be in the office 24/7 till Monday morning, 5 minutes later take a plane to NYC, finish my job in the plane/bus on my way to NYC, visit as much as I can until Sunday night, take a plane back to Toronto and be back in the office Monday morning at 8am.

I like to meet new people but not too much, because I learnt from life experience that finding good friends is a hard task, find friends that you can rely on is even harder and finding friends that will ever last, even through long-distance friendship, is impossible.

I never hate someone but I have personal preferences. I never wish anything bad to someone but I hope that people can learn from their mistake. I would never do to someone something that I don’t want people do to me because I know how much pain is real. I will never say anything bad to my friends about their girlfriend/boyfriend because I don’t think this kind of comments are useful, it can only harm your friends.

I value respect and education more than anything else. I value my family more than my friends (sorry folks!) I value my own values more than what people say and think, and I really don’t give a damn sh** about people little chats.

I learnt in Korea how to be a perfect bitch and I would never be that way, because I don’t think this is right. I would never lie to obtain guy’s attention, I would never pretend having big issues to obtain friend’s attention, I would never pull out big stories to justify I did or did not do something. Trust me on that, Koreans are well skilled in that area.

I learnt in Canada how racism is everywhere in our life and we don’t even realize that. I learnt from 250% pure Canadians how much racism can hurt your peers. I learnt from CBC and FOB how racism is subtle and disguised in everyday words. I’ve seen my friend cried because of racism, I’ve seen my parents cried because of racism, to me a human being is a citizen of Earth regardless of your passport/name/ethnicity or whatever else. I respect humans as much as I respect animals and the environment and I wish everyone could do the same.  In Canada we do have a sense of respect for the environment and animals but a small step has to be done to eradicate racism for good.

In the same way, I never have bad thought or bad intention toward someone but keep in mind I’m naturally Clumsy. I only think of my career and my family, nothing in my brain goes outside of that area, if I do something that doesn’t fit in the career or family section it means you misunderstood something about me. My hands are not functional 100% of the time, nor my brain does, I can pick up the same thing off the floor 5 times and let it drop again. I’m a clumsy and very unlucky person at a point that I can accumulate both and look like an idiot in front my advisor.

I lived in 16 different countries, Korea is the 16th, in every country I learnt a different version of History and seen goods and bads. Not every countries were wealthy, not every were beautiful, not every were interesting. Some were more boring, some were more exciting, in every country I’ve been I learnt something new and understood that multiculturalism is a Pandora’s box I want to give to my children later.

You don’t believe me eh? Here are true facts that happened until today :

My boss went to Hong-Kong for 4 days so I flew to NYC to see my parents, unfortunately I’m that unlucky that I got stuck in Laguardia airport for 2 days due to white-out conditions along with 1 million people and CNN’s damn camera !! I had to explain to my boss why I called sick 2 days and why I didn’t tell her I was going to NYC during the weekend..

On my first step in my the lab, just after I got a dream undergrad-student position, I broke a $50,000 value pack of Enzymes with my hands (trying to grab it while it was falling on the floor..), I had to spend an hour over the  phone trying to explain how clumsy I am to our insurances to get a new pack for free.

I love to cook at the point that I spend easily 5-7 hours in my kitchen to cook a ridiculously small Korean cake called 무지깨떡 Rainbow Rice-cake that will last 10 minutes in my friends’ hands. I made at least 5 version of that cake until I found the perfect blend of sent and time of cooking, the 6th try was the good one, my friends came from Kingston all the way to Toronto, had that cake with others and thought that the fruit puree was much  better than the rice cake. Rice cake preparation time : 5 hours. Apple puree preparation time : 30 minutes.As long as they are happy ..

When I was in Africa, they had a big promotion Sky-diving for $20, it was so tempting that I had to go there get in the air and wanted to tell my friends how cheap and safe it was to live well in Africa, my plan was perfect I was so proud of myself! I just had to take a picture of the tickets showing the $20 cost, got in the air take a picture of me smiling and send it be email the same night. I got in the air with my camera and my parachute until I realized that holes in the wing were as big as my fingers.. then I started to pray.

I value Education too much, you can say that. After my graduation in 2011, I couldn’t find a  job so I applied everywhere and got hired as a grade 12 Science Teacher. 2 months later a consulting firm called me in for an interview and offered me a dream position as a consultant. They asked me if I would give up teaching and stay with them 150% and I said yes. Probably the only time where I had to lie, I couldn’t give up my students in the middle of the semester, knowing that for them having a new teacher is a pain and my plan of teaching them how the World works was just perfect (except for the 30% who failed the mid-term!!) I kept teaching every Friday and Saturday and thankfully everybody passed the class, at that time I was still working full time and helping my other friend in Biology after work until 12pm. So I guess I wasn’t 150% for my consulting job, just 125% and 25% for Teaching.

Finally, my leitmotiv is 삼인행필유아사 .. look up the meaning on internet 🙂



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