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

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Subject: cold, free movie, spanish, kroean class
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 02:08:39
dear mom and dad,

im glad you enjoyed the pictures of me hating the snow... i hung out w/alan a couple weeks ago, we went to the korean culture center to catch a free movie (valentin, which is my new favorite movie btw), and for the whole 5 min walk from the subway station to the center, we complained about the cold.

alan and i talked about how we cant believe people LIVE in this, live here in this cold like all the time. alan, ever faithful, pointed out that it's really not natural: humans are nomads, and when weather conditions became unfit, you move onto another area, it's science and really quite obvious when you think about it. i love alan, he's the only one who understands that winter here is insane.

anyway, there was an argentinian film festival at the center, so alan and i got to watch this movie in spanish. thank goodness for subtitles: 8 years of spanish class and my face contorts at how fast the actors are speaking, i can understand maybe 1 in 50 words. i use that lesson for the kids in my class, to use english in class since they're using korean every other hour of the day, "kids, sister sha took spanish for 8 years, does she speak spanish now? No, b/c i havent spoken spanish in 10 years, i dont remember a thing." their eyes grow wide at the thought, and then i only hear them use english in class...well, like for 10 min, before they slip again into occasional konglish or something.

so i didnt bother to see the rocky horror picture show. i dont think it would be fun for me. i love the show and i know all the words to all the songs... but i dont tihnk i'd have fun not being able to sing along b/c it will almost definitely be entirely in korean.

one of my homegirls has signed up for a korean class: two hours a day, 3 days a week, and said it's changed her world. im a little green eyed about it... maybe just maybe i will sign up too. in february, it'll be two years of me living here, and im no more knowledgeable about the language now as i was then. shameful! ~daughter
ok,its not actually that cold here yet, but the constant complaining about the winter makes for good folly for my parents. i seriously am thinking about going to a hogwon to learn korean. i want to be able to communicate with all these cute korean boys ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Subject: 11th chew words, fall leaves, stamps, thankgv/mafia
Date: Tues, 16 Dec 2008
dear mom and dad,

no plans for x-mas, not officially. im not sure if i work that day or not.

i sent you a photo of the thanksgiving dinner i had w/the brothas & sistas, yes? it was so wonderful, the food was soooo good, i ate so much that i hurt my back and took a nap. i cooked nothing, of course, but i pitched in money for groceries. everyone kept asking zha (our host and cook) over and over just HOW did she get a turkey so friggin juicy. she said she covered it w/like 3 layers of tin foil for the first few hours of cooking, i dont know, i just know it was delicious. and the greens, oh my god! my homegirl camille cooked them, and dad i'll get you her recipe b/c they are the best greens ive ever had in my life. anyway, thanksgiving was wonderful all around, we ate and then played mafia, it was a perfect day.

so fall has come and gone and it's winter. *sigh* i was talking to alan the other day about how quickly fall went. i didnt notice last year, but the leaves changing color is really something to see. it almost doesnt look real, like alan said, it's like what you see on tv. to see these leaves so red or yellow in real life, we swear it must not be a real tree, it must be plastic or painted, or something. i wish i'd observed it more at the time, b/c now all the leaves are gone w/the arrival of winter.

work is going well. one of my favorite classes from last term is almost still all together, now my friend bryan is their teacher. one day i walked by the class room at the tail end of break, and all the kids ran out chasing me, shouting, "sister shaaaaaa!!!!" i couldnt stop smiling, i felt so loved. But of course, it's really just kids liking familiarity, but i still let it stroke my ego a little bit. when i was still their teacher, there was one little boy in the class, joseph, who would talk to me in class constantly, every so often he would do so out of turn, in which case i would turn to him and say, 'Joseph, guess what im going to say?" and he would stop, b/c the words following would've been, 'shut up.' In a kind teacherly way, of course :) He was one of the best students, but b/c he's so fast, he finishes early and yaps on forever. if i wasnt listening, he'd yell, "Teacher, why you chew my words?!" which means "why arent you listening to me?" I'd tell him, "Joseph, you see that jenny is speaking to me right now, sweetheart, please wait until she's finished, and then i can give you my attention." and then he'd sigh and pout while waiting, friggin adorable!

can i ask that you guys maybe check out pic&save (or whatever it's called now) and send me stamps and stickers? ive included pictures of what im talking about. i have some that ive bought here, but i'd prefer to have some that have some english words on them, or anyway, just something different. {the picture w/the stickers has a dvd in the photo, for no reason, i just forgot to move it out of the way}. thanks for putting up w/my constant requests.

im very cold here!~daughter

Friday, December 12, 2008


Subject:tax man, rt guard, plst bags
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:21:15
dear mom and dad,

i got the package with the magazines, comics, and the letter from aunt lyn, thanks a lot. Please, can you send me more plastic bags? and right guard clear gel for my coworker who lives upstairs. im straight on everything else, thanks for taking care of me :)

did i tell you that the tax man got me?! if you live here for more than one year, you have to pay taxes, this i didnt know... i got home one day, and the doorman motioned for me to come sign something. i got excited, thinking it was a package from you all, but instead i got a letter from the Korean National Tax Service! i asked a korean friend about it, he told me that since i didnt file my taxes here, that KOREA did it for me, and they sent me the paper telling me how much i owed. my job was of little help... but that's standard in school jobs the foreigners work here, er, at least, it is at my school: you get very little help of anything about actually living here. i asked all my coworkers during tax time what they did, and not one of them have ever paid them! one guy bragged that he's been here 5 years and has never paid a dime! *puh* Man, why korea tracking ME?! anyway, i went to the bank to pay what i owed; it was all done over a machine like an atm, well, the teller did it for me b/c i couldnt read the directions. a korean customer was waiting to use the machine after me.... i guess korea is checking on everybody... well, except my coworkers. i swear i want to turn them all in, i was so mad! >:(

i dont know how it's divided, but one tax fee i paid was around 50 bucks, the other was almost 500. holy cheese and crackers! while i was at it, i saw a local h&r block in seoul to ask about the taxes teddy filed at home. Mr. Han amended my and teddy's taxes, for a fee of course... 200 bucks! hmph. well, everything is nice and proper and legal, so that's good. i guess immigration wont be coming to kick me out anytime soon.

thanks for the photos you sent. i love all the new changes you guys have made to the home. i love the floor in the dining room and the new dining room set especially! send me pictures when you guys get rid of those red curtains, i remember never really being able to properly watch tv in that room b/c the red curtains reflected bright off the screen.

well im off to work, my greetings to senor gomez, of course.~daughter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


i think this was the second snow of the season? or third... it was a thursday maybe? ah who cares, it's all still cold. notice that im in the same place i was then i took the last photo, but here the ground is all white: wayyyyy more snow this time. >:( Subject: more snow
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 05:06:
hi mom and dad.
here's another picture of me hating the snow.