For some reason people like to compare themselves and me to movie stars or celebrities. And for some other reason, I listen. So here are a few that I've heard from my fellow humans in the past few months.

Wayne Rooney

"Our teacher, he's Loony! Wayne Loony!"
-One of my Korean students, upon seeing me for the first time

Wayne Rooney - UK soccer star

You know, I get it. We both have the same widow's peak, dopey ears, and a face that looks like it's slept on a bar one too many times. We've also scored the same number of goals in the World Cup.

Cha-Du Ri

"Cha-Du Ri, can you autograph my notebook?"
-Another student, upon our initial meeting

Cha-Du Ri - Korean soccer star

When I buzz my head, Korean kids think I'm fan favorite World Cup champ Cha-Du Ri. Apparently my kids can't tell the difference between a white guy and an Asian dude. He's the only Korean, nay only Asian, I've ever been compared to. I take it as a compliment, I guess.

David Beckham

"Teacher, you look like Beckham. Very handsome."

David Beckham - UK soccer star

This, as I know, is total bullshit. Korean kids are smart, but I'm smart enough to know that flattery always works when you want a couple extra points on your test grade.

King Kong

"You are hairy like the monkey. You are the King Kong."

King Kong

This is what my students say when they're pissed off at me, which is most of the time. But hey, there are worse things to be called…

Jason Vorhees

"El se parace Jason Vorhees. De Friday the 13th peliculas."
(Spanish for "He looks like Jason Vorhees. From the Friday the 13th movies.")

Jason Vorhees - Friday the 13th star

I once overheard an NYC grocery checkout counter girl saying this about me to her friend. I hadn't shaved or slept in a few days. I would have gone home and cried, but the only liquid in my body was Mountain Dew: Code Red.

Leon: The Professional

Leon the Professional - movie actor

A cab driver said I looked like guy. I guess with the beanie, glasses, and scruff, I could see it.


Eminem - US white rapper

All white people look alike to Koreans, including white rappers. At one of the many plazas, a hip hop head walked up to me and said, "Yay Doogie! Hee hope. Mem-em-mem. Yay Doogie!" He kept saying it and flashing his iPod to me. Only later did I realize he was trying to call me "Dog" and thought I was the famous Caucasian rapper Marshall Mathers.

Colin Farrell

"You look like that guy who used to be in sort of good movies."

Colin Farrell - movie star

This is probably the one I get the most from people of any color. Our initials are exactly the same, we enjoy drinking, not shaving, banging the occasional model, and speaking in fake Irish accents. Although personally I think I'm taller. And a lot less good looking.

Xander Crews

"Hi Funbags, I'm Xander. Where's my idiot girlfriend?"

Xander Crews - Friskey Dingo character

Actually, only one person ever called me Xander Crews/Awesome X from the wonderfully brilliant Frisky Dingo cartoon series. But, she was doing it because she knows I adore the show AND she was trying to get into my pants. But I think we look exactly the same. I even steal his catchphrases. "Snip-snap. Boosh. Kick-kow!"

A Movie Star

"You look like Hollywood movie star."

I learned the hard way to just accept this as a compliment, never to ask, "Oh really, which one?" Because my answer was this: "Mr. Bean."

Mr. Bean - UK movie star

In case you were a horny Korean girl drunkenly wondering, comparing me to Mr. Bean is not a fast track into my pants.