The wind blows moderately and brushes his lightly tanned skin. He slid his backpack over his shoulders and lifted a single luggage on one hand. He takes cautious, curious steps through the walkway connecting the airplane to the airport. The soft sound of people bustling and rushing filled the background. The echoes get louder as he steps closer to the end of the walkway. It feels weird that he did not feel that estranged from his motherland, until he actually reached the spacious airport filled with smaller-built people than him. Many glances and whispers were exchanged at the sight of him. Surely his 1.92 m height made him stand out, but that is not the only reason he became a source of attention. With brownish red hair and oceanic blue eyes, it will be no surprise he would stick out like a sore thumb among the sea of black haired persons there. As he walks, he keeps his eyes out for a person, an adult man in particular.
His eyes stop at a standing man in his forties, holding a sign. The man looks kind with little wrinkles at the corner of his eyes that become more apparent as he smiles. His white fair skin paired with rectangle-shaped glasses gives off a vibe of an intellectual, along with his casual plain white shirt and blue trousers attire —he matches the clothing mentioned in an email he had received.
The sign, for his relief, is in alphabets he can understand at a glance.
Given how much hangul he had seen all over the airport, seeing his name written in Roman gives him a feeling of solace that is hard for him to discern.
He greeted the man with a slight bow as he approached him. The man smiled and greeted back with a calming voice.
"Are you Lukas?"
"Yes…that's me." He hesitated a little as he is aware of the crime in using the incorrect honorifics with the particular language.
"It's okay if you want to speak in English with me, Lukas. You can even speak in German if you want, I can understand you." The man chuckled moderately before he continues. "I want you to feel comfortable here, that is the most important thing."
Lukas felt grateful for the kind offer but refused politely.
"I…really want to learn to speak better Korean, so…I want to speak more Korean." His words stumbled a little, with small pauses. The man seemed impressed and delivered him a gentle, fatherly smile.
"I see. I hope you will learn more and improve soon. Your Korean is very good."
Lukas smiled sheepishly and followed right after the man to his car. As he is walking, every person around them glances over to him and some older women even stare at him. He felt self-conscious and his senses were heightened to the max. He tried understanding even the most random talks around him.
The man opened his car trunk and helped Lukas place his belongings inside.
"Are you okay?"
It startled him.
"Don't worry. Everyone is looking at you because you are very handsome, Lukas."
The sudden tease caught him rather off guard, and Lukas let out a nervous chuckle.
"Thank you, sir."
The man, whom he knows to be Professor Park Jae-shin from K University, pats his back lightly.
Lukas felt grateful that he met such a welcoming and gentle person to be his temporary guardian in South Korea. He is determined to make his 5 months there a learning experience he will remember for a lifetime.