I am 173 (5’8”) cm tall, according to my health check. That is not really that terribly tall. In Korea, the average height for a man is actually slightly taller than that- around 175 cm (5’9”). The average height for women, however, is just 161 (5’3”) cm. Surprisingly, that’s barely shorter than the averages in the US, but still, I am constantly told that I am tall. I like being tall, most of the time, but every now and then, it’s not so great.
Things I hate about being tall:
Dresses and skirts in Korea are really short. Being considerably taller than most women here just makes shopping for anything other than a maxi dress awfully complicated. I’m always thinking “Hmmmm… Well, I could add a ruffle to make it longer. Maybe a little lace at the bottom? Forget it. I’ll just wear it with leggings.”
Short person: I wish I was tall, it’s so hard to find clothes that fit.
Me: For Pete’s sake, just learn to hem, it’s much easier than adding ruffles!
Then there’s the fact that humans in general really like to comment on the obvious. So some days it seems like wherever I go people are saying “You are very tall. You’re really tall. How tall are you? Wow, that’s tall.”
I hit my head a lot. I’m sure that’s mostly because of my clumsiness, but also things are just not built the same height as back home. Speaking of which, a lot of desks are absurdly short. I’m not even that tall. What do the men even do?
“He’s really cute. But he’s shorter than you.”
Gee, thanks for assuming I’m a shallow height-snob.
Things I like about being tall:
One day the batteries in the remote for the projector went dead. While my co-teacher waffled about how to solve this problem, I grabbed a whiteboard marker, stood on tip-toes and pushed the power button on the projector. My students were amazed. It was like some kind of fantastic party trick, and for the rest of the period they were convinced that I was a super model.