Aaron Choi shares one of his first experiences in America and the embarrassment he felt.
I immigrated to the United States from South Korea when I was twelve years old. My first fast food experience was a few days after I arrived. I strolled into a local Burger King to try out their famous burgers. After a short glance at the menu, I ordered what looked to be the most American meal the store had to offer: the number six combo. A rich steakhouse burger with fries and a large coke.
Before approaching the cashier, I hastily practiced in my mind what I was going to say. And in spite of my primitive English, I managed to place my order. But, the teen cashier behind the counter mumbled a question so quickly to me, I could not understand the question, let alone answer it. Here or to go? I picked up the word “here”. I spat out its counterpart, “there”. It was a reality check. My transition to life here in the US would not be as smooth as I was hoping.
Over the following years, there were bound to be many more moments of embarrassment and trouble. But with a bit of boldness and a sense of levity, I’m accepting this transition — and enjoying my number six combo.