While at the athlete’s village, there were a few activity rooms to keep the athletes entertained including a museum-like room that had fun facts about South Korea, Korean Culture, and about the games and arenas. There was one volunteer/guide in the museum who was very friendly. When the American shooting team came in, he rushed over to us and chanted, “USA! USA!” We were all happy to meet someone who liked our team so much. We chatted with him while browsing through the exhibits. He told us, in very broken English, how much he loved America, how the Americans were like angels, and his views on our politics (which were all positive). At the end of our tour, he asked us to take a picture with him and post it to the wall of other athletes. It was fun. It was also nice to meet someone who was so enthusiastic about meeting shooters from the United States. I never thought I would be such a novelty, but he made me feel like one.
Another fun person I met was one of our taxi drivers. He was driving me and my teammates from the village to a restaurant we were told about. On the way there he told us all about his family and about his sister who lived in Austin, Texas. He said that she loved it there, and he hoped to visit her again soon. He also asked us about the weather back home, which was difficult to explain because the teammates in the taxi were from all over the U.S. He then started to warn us about the rain. He would make a “whoosh” sound then point at the clouds. We asked if he was talking about the rain. “No, big whoosh!” he said. This went back and forth for a bit, then he found the word he was looking for, “HURRICANE! WHOOSH! HURRICANE!” Well, needless to say, this freaked us out a bit. We asked him if he was talking about right now, or soon, or if he meant it was like a hurricane, but all we got was “No, whoosh, hurricane,” and he would smile and continue driving. That night, when we got back to our apartment, all of us were looking up weather reports and trying to figure out if the hurricane was coming for us. Now, any time it rains, all I can think about is “WHOOSH! HURRICANE!”