He was supposed to say, “No, you are not annoying!”
One of the interesting things about meeting his old friends is seeing what their perception of him was, and also their perceptions of themselves. They always thought there was no way that Mr Gwon would be the one to live in another country, marry a foreign woman, speak English well, and travel that much. But he was the one to do it. This friend in particular hadn’t seen him for 14 years and was so shocked to hear him speaking English naturally with me. This friend didn’t do any of that and settled down in Korea with a Korean woman (though I’m sure he is happy too).
On the topic of marrying foreign women, we have another friend who wants to marry someone who is foreign. Now there are lots of reasons why a Korean man wants to marry a foreign woman and before I’ve talked about foreign brides for older men, or men who can’t find wives. Those are arranged marriages that are supposed to benefit both the man and the woman who is usually from a developing country. This is nothing like that.
I think many people can jump to the conclusion that a Korean man interested in foreign women is motivated by some fantasy of foreign women, especially western women, that is influenced by the media. That is not always the case. A lot of it just comes down to culture. For example, this friend finds it difficult to find the traits he wants in a partner in Korean women because of Korean culture and Korea being an Asian, community orientated society. He wants a wife that shares his passions and interests (as he is an outgoing adventurous, wanting to be different, type of guy) and personally he has found it harder to meet someone who also wants to break away from what society expects in Korea. It makes sense that he may find what he is looking for if he looks for a woman who is from an individualistic culture (Individualistic cultures include the U.S., Australia, Great Britain, Canada) rather than a culture with more of a group mentality. Usually it’s not about looks at all. It’s about people finding the best match for them. Hopefully he will be able to meet the right person for him.