im just one person. for more soko info, please check the fb group BSSK, focused on expats of color

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 12:22:23 +0000
dear mom and dad,

hi! i got the ebony and essence magazines this week, thank you so much. the weather is getting warmer and more humid, it's great i love it! i dont have anything to talk about at all, so i'll say bye now and write more later. ~daughter

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Subject: RE: 226-230
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 11:26:25 +0000
dear mom and dad,

woo, i had my first major discipline issue the other day! not at all like the days of sassy little johnny, b/c i got HOT for a second at this little boy, he was pushing me and being naughty! but then i got a little sad, b/c the term is only 1/3 over and i'm hoping that he holds no resentment over this issue for the rest of the term. it's frustrating b/c he is so smart, but doesnt do his homework, and doesnt take notes in class, etc. And i feel bad, all of these students have so much work to do... *sigh*

well, when things like this happen, we're to notify the korean staff and write a detailed email about the issue and they'll chat with the student. hopefully this can be all done and over with by next week when i see him. hopefully i will not be a jerk to him... or not be too nice to him either, which is equally bad. ah, we'll see how goes.

so anyway, i did one of my new step workout dvds today, it was wonderful, had all kinds of endorphins pumping and felt happy. so going the route of the soup again, dad? god i hate that soup. good luck with that. man, looking back at those days on optifast and optitrim, it all seemed so fast and easy! meh, past is past, my progress is much slower this time, but at least this time is permanent.

i'll be having classes cancelled this and next week, mayma is going to help me out and take me shopping for some Sha-sized clothes in certain shops in itaewon. i have like 2 skirts and 4 blouses that i wear over and over again, but with this hot weather, it's down to one reasonable blouse; the others are too hot. ive noticed that i dont see hardly any koreans in traditional clothing where i am. in ghana, tho most wore western clothes, you still saw women sporting a cloth around the waist and/or head, or men wearing a shirt made with local cloth. here, i spot the occasional monk but that's about it. maybe if i get to visit the countryside sometime, i'll see something more grassroots.

hey mom, in the back of my mind i keep the images of beautiful traditional philipino clothing, that i'll wear one day when im closer to philipino size. i think i'm going to have lindsay send me some cloth soon, tho... b/c i can sport my african cloth with this sha-sized body in this hot weather right now no problem.

so hey dad, is part of being a good sailor knowing how to order a beer in the language of the country youre in? b/c if so, then i bet you were a damned fine crackerjack sailor, pappa!~daughter

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Subject: RE: muggy
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 16:52:09 +0000
dear mom and dad,
oh im happy to hear that my blouses are on the way! it's HOT here!!! man, im so glad i cut my hair.

i ordered some new step workout videos from amazon and they arrived this week. for some reason, the dvds could ship to korea no problem, but the blouses had shipping restrictions. hmm... well anyways, i got new dvds, yeah! i'm going to mix it up, ive had it with this 226-230 nonsense. let's see, we're coming up on july? i think i'll have my weight in the 2-Teen's by winter for sure.

i got to meet up w/tchaiko's daughter and some of her friends this weekend, oh it was so SO wonderful to sit and shoot the shit with the sistas. we went to this restaurant Ali Baba, it's egyptian or middle eastern or something, with big cushy pillows surrounding the table. incredible salad was had. made me realize that im not eating enough vegetables.

all of the women i met up with (there were 5 of us) teach english, one of the sistas teaches a salsa dance class as well, pretty interesting! she also did a couple of workshops here about the history of rap music. i think it's fascinating, especially since all the rap music ive heard here thus far is all, in my opinion, the bottom of the barrel. we talked about, or rather i complained about how much i hate the music in every club ive been to here thus far. i hear no real hip hop; all i hear is stupid laffy taffy, walk it out, in my white tee... well, maybe you can ask brother dave about all these songs on sunday. but i am rethinking "white t" tho; sister annice made a good point about how at least that song in particular celebrates something simple: anybody can get hold of and wear a white t shirt at the discount store for like a dollar. she's right. i'd rather that than stupid air force one's. uhm, you can ask dave about that too. well anyway... i look very VERY forward to my strange fruit project cds as well!!! :)

ah, remember my friend felix? the one who cleaned my apartment? he asked that i send you his greetings. for some reason felix really is fascinated with the military and asked that i, and i quote, "tell your father that i think he is a very brave man, b/c he is a soldier.' yeah whatever, i know pops only joined the navy to avoid being drafted by the army... (ha!)~daughter

Friday, June 22, 2007


Subject:RE: Red Hot
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 11:53:30 +0000
dear mom and dad,

it rained yesterday, boo. it was a hot muggy rain, it made me think of the story of Payong, and how he got that name b/c of all the wet weather in the Philippines, carrying an umbrella everywhere he went. ;)

it may be too early to say, but dad, I will NEVER beg for the cold. i would rather this hot muggy rain than korea this last february, hands down.

my middle school students are going through school exams, so i will once again start having some classes cancelled. it wasn't to start until next week, but yesterday (Thursday), i only had one out of the nine students in my 7:30pm class. it was pretty funny, the poor girl kept debating on staying or not, and saying that she didnt want to make me mad if she chose to leave; it was too cute. she ended up staying (after calling her mom, and mom strongly suggesting she stay), and so we did class one on one. it was cool, she's a good girl and very smart, we had a good time. well actually she said over and over how "mean" i am for making her take the test and conducting the class as usual, instead of just letting her chill. i told her she'll thank me in the long run. "look at how much you've learned today!" i told her at the end of class. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

email to teddy

Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 5:03:08 AM
hi pare!

i see that LOST season 3 is due to be out soon on amazon! im going to preorder it and have dad send them to me. after i finish watching them, i'll send them to you,and you can send them home to lalibela. im so excited!!! i dont think i've seen any of season 3 at all, i cant remember.

dad said you came by and brought over some recycling! right on, way to save the planet! :)

(not a picture of me, but this is how i would pose.) mom told you i cut my hair, and said she was worried she was talking too much b/c you didnt know? im sorry about that, i didnt tell anybody i cut my hair, actually, except mom and dad, i posted the email on the blog and that's how a couple other people knew. i cut my hair about a month ago, it was time for a change. a big plus: sometimes i wear those earrings and bracelet from your Sara, and i get SO many compliments on it now. i think having the short hair really makes the earrings stand out.

thank you for visiting my parents, i really appreciate it. how is my momma doing? she's OK? ~mare.


Subject: it's gettin hot
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 14:52:17 +0000
dear mom and dad,

hi! woo, the weather is getting muggy! bring it, korea, BRING IT! i remember my trips to ghana, and the heat, and oh wow. this is different, a muggy heat... but i welcome this over the cold any friggin day of the week.

anyway, i see that i didnt bring a specific blouse i used to wear for the ghana trips, and im pretty mad at myself. i THINK it's in one of the boxes i packed to have teddy send to me, but i cant wait that long to get it. i have ordered a type like it (this blouse) from amazon, and am having it shipped to you. im 99% sure you'll be able to scrunch it up and send it along with a magazine, please? it's a stretchy black mesh top that looks rather nice with a light color skirt, and a light color blouse underneath it, and so nice for the heat. when it gets there, please send it asap.

mom, dont worry about telling teddy about my hair, it's no secret :) i didnt realize that i didnt tell him. i just forgot about it. i didnt tell anybody, actually, again not b/c its a secret, but b/c i only email you guys about all the inane trivial dribble of my life, and to teddy i pretty much just email him asking if he's been taking good care of the cats. i miss them so much... *teardrop* oh, my cats!!! wahhhh!!!!

i didnt get to start my korean language lessons last weekend as i'd hoped, i had to cover a class at work, but it's cool, it's a drop in korean language class and i'll hit it next weekend. im so excited! one time i got into a cab and said, VERY confidently:

"anyang ha sayeo. hagwon ga ka gus say yo."
the cab driver started rattling off in korean like i really knew what he was saying!
i smiled and said, "Sorry, korean molayo (molayo is "i dont know")
the driver smiled and said, "American?"
me: "deh (yes)
him: "you speak korean very well!"

maybe this guy was trying to work me for a fat tip, but it still made me feel GREAT! i cant wait to start learning this language!! :) ~daughter

Monday, June 18, 2007


Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 11:33:16 +0000
dear mom and dad,

hi! yes, please send the business cards to me. they are not super duper important, tho, so no need to try and cram them into one envelope. what i would really LOVE for you to put into that next envelope are a couple of my music cds. Mom, i do hope youre having fun with my collection, but please if you can pull out the cd's Strange Fruit Project, there should be 2 of them, i would love to have those in the next envelope you and dad send to me.

oh, i got the O magazine this week, by the way, and thank you!

the electricity is not a part of my rent, unfortunately, but it's cool, i dont need it to live. even so, i will take the heat over the cold any day. i will always remember those first few weeks here in korea, thinking that the snow was ash, as if weather that cold couldn't possibly be real. ~daughter

Friday, June 15, 2007


Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 07:21:05 +0000
dear mom and dad,

hi! things are going great here, the weather is really starting to warm up. i like it, but am being warned by everyone that it'll get hotter and hotter. i say "bring it on!" my lovely apartment has air conditioning, and i am all set.

i have my first encounter with random picture taking last week. everyday after work, the teachers gather outside to chat for a bit. standing with mayma (the sister from new zealand), a couple of korean girls came up with a camera and gestured they wanted to take a picture with her. mayma just said, "sure," and the picture was taken, there as some bowing and thanking and then they left.

me:"did you know those girls?"
her: no
me: so those were random people asking to take a picture with you?
her: yeah.
me: how bizarre.
her: yeah i thought so too the first time it happened.

ive heard about how sometimes random people will want a picture with you, with the foreigners, but i didnt think it happened HERE where i am. one sister i know lives in the sticks and someone shoots a picture of her with their cell phone just about daily, without asking, but i was yet to encounter it here since we're so close to seoul. mayma was hella cool about it, just smiled and was polite and took the picture with them. i guess this goes back to just controlling what you can. people are curious and pictures will be taken with or without your permission, all that you can control is your reaction to it.

parents, remember my graduation from college? and i wore that massai necklace and headress? i think we met half of the families of graduates at sdsu that day, i remember we were stopped a lot to take pictures with people. the first time it happened, i was a little thrown off. yeah, what i was wearing was certainly eye-catching, but all these parents asking i take pictures with them and their kids who are graduating, i thought it was weird b/c it's a day for family, really, and they didnt even know me! but weren't we stopped at least a dozen times after that, every two minutes for someone to take a picture, it really wasnt a big deal anymore, huh?

i was a little jealous that those korean girls asked to take photos with mayma and not me. well, she's taller than me, more eye-catching.

pero anyways, felizidades a senor hector gomez. ~daughter

Monday, June 11, 2007


Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 21:10:20 +0000
dear mom and dad,

i got mail from you all again this week, thank you very much! the magazines are MUCH appreciated. uhm, amongst the mail, dad, you sent me a BILL for essense magazine. jeez, i thought it was a gift! no really tho, it's a bill for $18. i'll pay it online.

i am going to order some things on amazon and have them shipped to the house. i'll let you know around when they should arrive. i did order some business cards already, just letting you know in case you get the package, mom, and you go insane with curiosity as to what it is. feel free to open it. they're just cards about my website the the "brothas & sistas in seoul" group im trying to start here. please hold onto them until the amazon stuff arrives, to ship together.

dad, you were able to order american legacy on the computer all by yourself?! wow, mr. hi-tech, i wasnt even knowing how computer savvy you are! i am impressed. did it take you 20 minutes for the typing? ;) just teasing, dear old dad.

the elders ive seen here in korea really astound me, it's not uncommon to see these 50, 60, 70+ year olds, with cell phones... AND the know HOW TO USE THEM. i think i mentioned before how clean everything is in my neck of the woods; i've noticed that a lot of the cleaning ive seen done by these workers in uniforms (hired by the city or state or country i guess), they are all elders, every single one of these workers: doing the asian squat, scrubbing every crevice until it's sparkling.

ok, i forgot that tchaiko went on about the roses. her daughter doesnt have a cell phone, so she and i havent been able to connect for a while. a cell phone is the best way to connect here, especially for foreigners b/c text messaging is super cheap. I had sent her messages the first few days i was here, and came to find that the number she has is only a landline, so she wasnt getting the messages of course.

im glad to hear nisha came by, WITH RECYLING TOO??? interesting! she and i have had more than one debate about the fact that she doesnt eat meat b/c of health and tries to buy organic and all this holistic junk, and yet she didnt give a fig about recycling. i think i will take credit for her new awakening. we can all save planet earth if we work together. teamwork makes the dream work!

dad, you like that i cut my hair? i know you've always secretly loved my locks and wished you had some of your own. it's ok, i know youre just frontin'. ~daughter.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2007 06:03:38 +0000
dear mom and dad,

it's saturday afternoon, im in the internet cafe and there are mostly children here. i think i have found the secret: go to the cafe when it's mostly children, b/c the adults and/or smokers wont be there... or maybe sitting somewhere else. anyways...

dad, what do you mean "Even i remember tchaiko?" you never remember anybody! dad, i wasnt even sure if you've ever even MET tchaiko. anyway, before i left for korea, i told tchaiko of course that i was leaving. she told me her daughter was here and gave her my email. so that's how we met up. and NO there was not giggling around the table. im 30, not 13. >:( but again, it was hella cool to meet with the sistas and just have a casual brunch and shoot the breeze. i look forward to seeing them all again.

im thinking of investing in an elipitical machine... did i spell that right? you know, like a treadmill only it's not, it's like sking, like cross trainer thingy. just debating, b/c aside from that last machine dave was able to hustle for me, i NEVER used any of the machines at the house. im waiting a bit, and trying to see if i really am committed this time, and that i wouldnt be wasting my money if i bought this equipment. im going nuts a little b/c my weight has been floating between 226-230 for weeks and weeks, despite that i do my step set practically every other day. *sigh* i think it's time to change routine. first im going to check out, see what home workout dvds they have. they ship to korea! :)

so my hair is growing back a tiny bit. first i just cut the locks off, and it looked nice, but since i did it myself, it was very uneven. i called mayma, the sister from new zealand, to come over with her husbands clippers to even out my hair:

"let me just do a small spot, to make sure the setting isnt too short," she says.
me: Nah, dont worry about it, just do it.
her: are you sure?
me: yeah man, it's fine, just do it.
her: are you sure?
me: dude, just cut my hair already!
"BZZZZT!!!.... and now im bald.

yeah, didnt want it quite that short! ha! well, it sure was cut even after that! :) it's grown a bit more now, and i dont look totally bald anymore. i think another couple of months and it'll be closer to a length i like. on another plus side: mom, ive gotten SO many compliments on those black "indian tear drop" earrings, they really stand out with my short hair! ~daughter

Friday, June 8, 2007


Subject: Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 15:30:23 +0000
dear mom and dad,

hi! im missing using the internet on the daily. im thinking to buy one for my self... maybe in a couple of months.

work has been going great, ive got the hang of grading everything and recording all the student info during class and not having to stay after anymore. the weather has been getting toasty which i really like. it's cool to feel the sun on my head for once.

do you remember tchaiko? mom, maybe you remember her, she's the older black woman with the locks, you gave her some flowers? her daughter is here in korea teaching as well. she's been here... i forget, over a year i think. i met with her and two other sisters for brunch last sunday, oh it was wonderful! the food was good and the sisters were hella HELLA cool, we talked about getting together this weekend, but my throat is a little scratchy and i dont know if i'll make it. but for sure we'll all go to brunch or something sometime soon. it was really nice to be in the company of some sisters. one of them has been in korea for over 5 years. and here comes another joker smoker in the non-smoking section of the interet cafe... ~daughter.

Monday, June 4, 2007


Subject: corea
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 14:45:15 +0000
dear mom and dad,

hi! sorry for not writing for so long. i read an article a few days ago about internet monitoring in the work place, and it's made me paranoid. i only use the computer at work FOR work now. not that i was browsing all the naughty websites, but i stopped checking my hotmail there. i havent been to the internet cafe in a while either; the last time i went, i was just too annoyed with the smoking. im sure i've complained about it before, about how people smoke everywhere. and in the internet cafe i go to, even tho i sit in the no smoking section, lately there seems to ALWAYS be one joker who is just too cool to follow the rules. last time i was at the cafe, this smoking guy was hawking up stuff and spitting RIGHT THERE ON THE FLOOR. mind you, we're INSIDE, and he just spits! so nasty. anyway... havent been on the computer in quite a while.

anyway, things are great. i found a lactose free milk and am happily enjoying cereal every morning. getting ready is sooo much faster and easier now that ive cut my hair. i have lots of other things to babble on to you about, but i see a smoker coming... and it's getting late, im heading home. more later. my love to Senor Gomez. ~daughter.