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

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Subject: Thanks
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2008 18:07:15 -0700


I am glad to hear that your Soul/Seoul Food Pot Luck went so well, and that a good time was had by all, tell Sister Annice that she will have to go without cookies for at least a month, because if I send you cookies right away you will not write to let us know how you are doing, this way Annice will remind you to write so that she can get her cookies, so tell her that she had better remind you to write so she can get the cookies, by the way why are there no pictures of the white boy?

Subject: museum,small things

Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 02:35:06 +0000

dear mom and dad,

hi! oh my goodness, the weather turned from warm to cold in like 2 minutes. one night i was sleeping soundly, the next night, i had to break out the big blanket. people like to say korean has 4 seasons. winter is upon us. im not happy about it!

so i ventured to this area called ansan a while back, an area about 30 min south of me, to visit the gyeonggi museum of modern art. b/c im south of seoul, i usually tend to travel north, i think i've only been south of where i live maybe one time. it's a trip how green everything is going that way. looking out the window while on the subway, youre not underground, and instead of seeing buildings and streets everywhere, you see green grassy fields and marshes and such. i dont know how far it is, we're talking maybe a dozen subway stops or so, but it really struck me.

the museum is gorgeous, the building was way cooler than the mca in san diego. i definitely want to go back... if i can find it. i had a hard time getting there, my directions were "off" as is my mind most of the time.
picture is from google, b/c i dont have a camera. this photo doesnt do it justice, the building is gorgeous.

one of my friends, her name is Genoa, from san diego just got to korea a couple weeks ago, also teaching english. she and i used to work together at redenvelope. we both also got fired from there, so we have a special bond. no matter, being in south korea is so much cooler than ta
king peoples gift orders over the phone :)

pero anyways, while on the subway to get to genoa, i was holding a subway map. i havent had to do so in a long long time, but we were meeting in an area i wasnt too familiar with and i had my map out to check where i needed to transfer. as soon as i put my head down to look at the map, a korean woman came up to me and asked if i needed help. she was so kind. ive been caught up in my own life for a while, and i'd forgotten about little nice things that happen sometimes. it was, well, really nice you know. not me ----------------->

along those same lines, i had a reminder about how when living in south korea, you have to not sweat troublesome things, and appreciate the mess out of the little things. when i was on my way to find this museum, i was wayyyyy out of seoul and couldnt find my way. i decided to find an internet cafe, to find the adrs/directions of where i was going. the first two internet cafes i went into politely refused me service w/no explanation. it's been a while since i had that happen, too. the 3rd place, however, didnt blink an eye at my presence, so i got what i needed and was able to get where i was going.

i told annice about the cookies, she'll happily wait, tho i think i did see her eyes well up w/tears for just a bit. btw, she loves the oatmeal cookies as well. oh, there were no pictures of alan (the white guy) b/c he wasnt there, the event was on a sunday, and he does work at the zoo on sundays. he's working with some professor at some university, i dont know the details, but he's into science, i think he's working on being an archaeologist one day, which at first i thought was nerdy, but then he pointed out that indiana jones is an archaeologist, and you really cant get much cooler than that. well, except maybe james bond. bond is cooler than jones. dad, your opinions?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Subject: joseph "like me"
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 05:51:20 +0000

dear mom and dad,
the soul/seoul food potluck this weekend was so wonderful, and the cookies were a smash hit. my friend annice grabbed my pantleg and begged w/tears in her eyes for me to ask for more. she likes the molasses cookies. i like chocolate chip. dave got the cookies at ranchos, which is closed now i think, but the same cookies can be found at henry's or whole foods. please send more, before poor annice pulls out all her hair in hysteria. pictures of the food, and my friends attached. i couldnt find pictures w/me in it. i was probably too busy eating.

work is going well. around the corner from the school are vendors that sell cheap snacks, i usually head there after work to get a waffle or an ice choco (chocolate milk), one vendor in particular is always so nice to me, often throwing a little something extra for me. she speaks not a word of english. the other day, i went to her, and ran into one of my coworkers who speaks korean. this woman tells my coworker to tell me how kind she thinks i am, and how much she really likes me and appreciated my business. it was so sweet, im sure ive never said more than hello and thank you to her b/c i still speak no korean, but just goes to show you how far a friendly smile will take you!

this term, i've got this little boy joseph has taken praising himself, it's really funny, actually. when someone in class gets the right answer, he'll say somethign like, "oh wow, youre so smart!!! ... like me." then the class falls out. he's got really great delivery, just enough pause to make it super funny. well, you have to be there.

love you miss you bye

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Subject: 2
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 03:57:47 +0000

dear mom and dad,

yes, the magazines are greatly appreciated by friends, thank you for sending them. as for staying another year, yes i am! when i renegotiated my contract, it was set for a year from that date, so i'll be here until july of 2009 at least. longer if i get another raise (hee-hee!) A visit home is on my mind, but ive no idea as to when. when i know, you'll know, but it wont be anytime soon. but i'll do better to write more often.

i got a chance to visit the korean foundation cultural center a while back, to see their venue and check out the art galleries. they have lectures and performances there. i caught the last bit of an exhibition by ko un, a poet and painter, but all the work was in korean, so i couldnt read it. it was really lovely, i tried to sign up for the email list, but i fear it will come to me in korean too. ah well, maybe it'll motivate me to go to korean class.

i was hanging out w/some sistas last weekend, we went to butterfinger pancakes, looking again for a western style breakfast. the place was nice but the prices were high. i've heard that a lot of korean celebrities go there, hence the prices. good food tho. it's popular amongst foreigners too, b/c again, there are no "denny's" or other diners here, if you want pancakes, you have to hunt for them in places like butterfingers. i just mostly eat korean food, b/c i dont quite live in seoul, so getting different foods is difficult. i could go shopping for the ingredients, but of course i dont cook.

work is good. ive got one little boy Jon, who drives me nuts. seriously, he has ADD or something, b/c this boy wont sit still. i had him in my class last term, and was relieved when the term finsihed, thinking i'd be done with him. then lo and behold, he's in my class again!!! he's cute of course, and super smart. i wonder if it's the reason why he cant sit still, maybe the class is too easy for him. another teacher saw he was in my class and commented about how "bad" he is, and i had the nerve to be offended, b/c that's my student! since then, i've been trying different things in the class room w/him. now everytime he interrupts me, i do much less "stern angry" talking, and more sweet voiced, "that's really interesting, jon, but right now we're on page 13, so let's focus." i cant accurately say if his class behavior has improved, but at the very least, it helps me be less angry and frustrated, if anything.

Friday, September 12, 2008


ubject: Where Are You?
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 14:59:48 -0700


Your brother brought by five bags of cookies for me to send to you, but since I have not heard from you for a while I am not sure that you are still alive so until I hear from you I will hold on to the cookies. Hope to hear from you soon, before I have to eat your cookies.


Subject: RE: Where Are You?
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:56:02

holding my cookies hostage? that's low, poppa....

dear mom and dad,
hi, i havent written in a while i know, i'll spare you my reasons/excuses b/c they're the same as always. thank you for the box, im straight on deodorant for while, i think i have about a dozen sticks in my medicine cabinet. i would love it if you sent me dental floss, with wax, im just about out. uhm... would it be jerky of me to tell you that i dont need the Star magazines you send me? celebrity news is on tv here all the time, so much so that i know a lot more now about whoever in hollywood than i ever did home, w/no effort on my part. i love the american legacy magazine, tho, thank you for that one.

work is going great. i have curtis again, he has grown so much since he was in my class last, and he's really sharp in the classroom, can answer any question, and has a new focus, really pays attention in class, an incredibly improved student, i adore him. i'd like to think that having me before helped him to grow into the super student he is today, but... well, no, actually, i will take credit for it. im such a great teacher! he's gotten so tall. crazy how fast they grow.

i was hanging out w/some friends a couple weekends ago, and we went to suji's restaurant. it's a favorite among foreigners for western style breakfasts. my eggs benedict was the bomb, but cost me $19.00. i ate it happily, but then i talked a lot of trash about who's idea was it to pick such an expensive restaurant. attached is the picture of me and my friends outside suji's, and then the same photo, w/their names. You'll see zhaleh, the sister who is an amazing cook, and hosted our "soul food get togethers" and alan, who is a good sport about being referred to as "the white guy." Alan is from san diego, also an alum of sdsu, so of course we're good friends.

this weekend is chuseok, sort of like american thanksgiving, where people will spend time w/families. we'll have one day of classes cancelled at my job. the kids are pretty mad. i tell them to not be mad, but to be happy, b/c they'll be spending time w/me :) one little girl Diana gave me a chuseok present of scented soaps, i wanted to hug her, but i just did a mental hug and told her thank you.

can i get some cookies now? :(