Definitely YES. But I live in Asia, so, well, go figure
DH and I live in Seoul where there are a actually a lot of foreigners (mainly US soldiers, but also Europeans, South Asians, N. Americans, even a few Africans and South Americans I've met), but a few thousand foreigners lost in a huge sea of about 11+ millions Koreans in a densely over-populated space doesn't feel like much most times. In our big crowded neighbourhood, far from where most of the foreigners and US soldiers live, I've seen/met about 5 non-Asians.
It's really difficult living here as a foreigner sometimes. This country is VERY, VERY, VERY homogenous and has a history of being quite isolated and a bit hostile to foreigners. We speak a lot of the local language and constantly overhear Koreans making really
racist statments about both DH (who is white) and me (biracial, black+white). It is common for people to point and laugh at us and declare that we are "Americans" even though we are Canadian. We get lots of stares and head turns and even some harrassment from old drunks and rowdy teenagers. I know another Canadian who has been seriously assaulted by a local and had the police laugh at him and I worry about DHs and my safety sometimes amidst all the anti-foreign sentiment.
The people we work with, as well as a small population of locals, are used to being around foreigners and can be very kind and welcoming, but of course lack basic understanding of what it's like to be different and stand out or be a "foreigner". Both my husband and I, having lived and travelled in many countries and having advanced degrees in Cultural Studies/Anthropology and Sociology understand WHY the locals are ignorant about racism and have an "other" mentality about foreigners, but that doesn't make it any easier.
We've found it surprising, that of all the different countries we have lived in/traveled (Asia, Africa, S. America, E. Europe), after a couple of years here we've found Korea is the most difficult place to live as a foreigner. We didn't expect that. Being black, I've faced a fair amount of racism in a lot of places, but not such constant racism and ignorance that permeates every activity outside the walls of my home. Needless to say, we live a pretty insulated (but fairly happy) life, with just a few foreign and Korean friends and it's okay most of the time, but DH and I plan to leave in a year or so.
Another adventure, this time New Zealand.