An air steward recently shared that while on a flight pattern to Seoul, South Korea, back in 2020 just before the start of the pandemic, a fellow air stewardess and himself were initially refused service by a Korean BBQ restaurant over there just because they looked ‘PRC’.
Here is what he said
I did a flight to Seoul back in 2020 January, just before the pandemic got really serious.
At that time, the situation was a little more tense in Korea.
Masks were going at the street for a box of 30 for almost 100SGD and a bottle of hand sanitiser of an unknown Korean brand was going as high as 30SGD.
My batch girl who happened to be on the same flight as me had asked me to go for Korean BBQ for lunch while we were on the flight and when we landed and showered, we headed out immediately.
We took a train to Hongdae and walked around looking for a Korean BBQ restaurant which looked appealing and finally found one.
As we were approaching the entrance of the restaurant, a Korean Ajumma quickly ran over to the door to close the door shut and kept saying that they are ‘not opened’ even though there were patrons inside occupying a few tables.
We then tried asking how come there are people eating inside if it was not opened and she just kept on going ‘No No No’.
After a while, a younger chap who was also working there came over and spoke English to us and asked us if we were from China.
We replied that we are from Singapore and he asked to see our Passports.
When we showed him our passports, he smile and shouted to other staff in the restaurant something in Korean which we deciphered it to be ‘Oh they are from Singapore’.
Suddenly, they opened the door and ushered us in and all the staff there became very warm and welcoming towards us.
The younger chap then apologised and explained to us that the older staff there assumed that we were from China and associated us with the pandemic and was afraid that we were carrying the virus and would eventually pass the virus to them.
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