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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

email to my brother

i sent my brother a package of korean candies, along with these cigarettes. i thought they were candy when i bought them, then realized they weren't, but i sent them anyway b/c the packageing was cute. i dont know why i sent him candy, he didnt ask for anything, but i was just thinking of him and i miss him. btw, im 32 years old, and my brother is 31.

From: Your Sister
Date: Jan 28, 2009 7:28 AM
when did you let your face get so hairy? was it "no shave til it ships" time? did you guys have to INVENT the game, it took that long?anyway, i was just wondering if you got the envelope of korean candies i sent you.~sis


From: Your Brother
Date: Jan 29, 2009 12:49 AM
I originally started growing my beard with the intention of dressing up like Jefferson Twilight for Halloween (see the 4th guy from the left in this picture). I didn't have enough time to get an authentic looking Blackula Hunter costume together so I said screw it and started growing my beard instead. After it got to a certain point, I decided to just keep it until New Years.

Yes I got the candy. I gave some to K(his girlfriend) and brought the rest to work.
Some highlights:

  • The ginger gum smells like extremely strong dirt. We all took turns passing it around saying, "Ewww! Smell this"
  • I thought the cigarettes were candy cigarettes and passed them out as such. Glad I didn't give them to kids
  • Everyone liked the bear candies in the white bag.
  • Everyone was tripping out about floral gum
  • K decided to try the silver breath mints. She put one in her mouth, croaked, and instantly spit it out. Then she proceeded to whine about it for 5 minutes.


Monday, January 26, 2009


<---a google image searched pic of a woman having her eyelashes extended. they you lie on the table, tape you up, and get to gluing.

Subject: big or small, lunar new year, lashes
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 07:10:28 +000
dear mom and dad,

it's monday afternoon, i have the day off today, it's Lunar New Year and a big holiday here in south korea. im a tiny bit sad, it wouldve been jason day, and now i wont get to see him until friday. :( i was going to go to a traditional lunar new year ceremony but it's snowed yesterday so instead im staying home and doing my nails. im painting them white, and will put black dots on, like dice, it's going to be fresh.

yesterday i hung out with my friends jinny and tiffany, we decided to have our eyelashes extended! a few days ago i saw another friend of mine, aeja, and her lashes looked SO lush. she told me this is a common service in salons and saunas here. So yesterday me and the girls found a spot in our neighborhood that does it, it cost under 50bucks and WOW the beautician glued the eyelash hairs on one at a time, talk about patience. it looks soooo cool, i cant stop batting my eyes like a foolio. i found out the lashes are mink, tho. very sad, b/c i know the manner in which minks are killed... boo... anyway, im going to ask for silk next time.

oh hey, my friend Ed went home for xmas, and brought me back a laptop!!! well, i paid for it, but still, i have the most awesome friends ever. he built it for me, attaching all kinds of cool programs that i dont know how to use yet. im using the laptop from home right now as i type! aside from the snow, it's another incentive for me to not leave the house. but it's winter, why would i?! i got my computer, elliptical, cable tv, and you know what else: i speak enough korean to order food on the phone!!!! life is so good!

i'll leave you with this cute student story:i was in class last week and needed a break, so i told the class:"Class, I will be right back, don't use korean while im gone.""Oh, Teacher, where go?" asks sally. In korean, one would just say, 'odi ga?" which translates to "where go."i correct her, "teacher, where are you going?"she repeats her question "teacher, where are you going?" and i respond that i had to use the bathroom.10 year old kelly who sits in the back raises her hand and yells out, "Teacher? Big or small?"the whole class laughs.I thanked her for asking me her question in English :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

an email from my parents

To: sistershainseoul
Subject: Mom Said
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 11:48:38 -0800

Your mother told me to tell you that she love you, and miss you very much.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Subject: RE: Laws
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009
dear mom and dad,

i ventured out of my part of town to go to seoul last week, a girlfriend of mine arranged another speakeasy poetry open mic thing. a photo attached: the turnout was huge, it was really wonderful! i saw friends i havent seen in months. a couple people congratulated me for coming out, knowing how hard it is for me interrupt my hibernation. Well thankfully it wasnt too cold that night.

korean class is going at hyper speed, its frustrating and humbling but rewarding. i still read slower than any of my classmates, but i couldnt read AT ALL a month ago, so that's progress.

i ran into my friend annice, the one who asked for the cookies, she was devastated that i ate them. well, now that she's back on the grid, please send Uncle Eddie Vegan Cookies if you find any. I know brother dave cant get them at ranchos anymore, but i used to buy them at henry's, traderjoes, and whole foods, if you or dave ever pop into any of those spots.

love you miss you.~daughter

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Subject: RE: Make Up Your Mind
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2009 06:34:25
dear mom and dad,

the after day i emailed you about the background check, i got it in the mail from you! all these new visa laws are sucky: so much process for something that used to take no time at all. *sigh* so i went back to the police station to get fingerprinted AGAIN, and it was just as difficult the second time: i try to explain that all i need is to be printed, and then every cop in the place comes over and looks at my paperwork and asks me questions in korean and i feel dumb b/c i cant understand them, *sigh* They asked me why i didnt just go to the embassy, i said i dont know. i asked some coworkers and bosses about what specifically im supposed to do, no one is 100% sure...

These laws came into affect early last year, and i renewed just before the deadline, so doing this process is new to me. Foreigners are on an E-2 visa. we now (well, californians anyway) have to first request an official fingerprint card from home. Then get fingerprinted at a police station here, then send it back home to get a criminal background check, and then get a medical check up, THEN we can submit paperwork to renew. i heard stories of crappy teachers and even pedophiles working here, which was the catalyst for these new laws. it's interesting: getting the fingerprints itself isnt so complicated (if you have an interpreter with you): i just bring the card and have them print me. they dont even keep a copy. I wonder how the Board of Education in korea, or the justice dept of Cali know it's MY Prints im sending? how do they know i didnt just print my dog or something? how come i cant print myself, how would anyone ever know the difference? anyway... my visa expires february 10th. hope i get done in time. ah well, it's going to work out im sure.

thanks for understanding about the boxes. so:please send whatever you feel like! i was just feeling bad for not actually using all you send me for myself. so please send some oatmeal raisin cookies for my coworkers. send me fiber pills that i can swallow (a one a day pill, please) and as for the oil of olay: send me whatever mom used to use. i just want something like lotion: but for my face, b/c winter is so dry here.

we're in week 9 here in the winter term, there are 4 weeks left before we start anew. im looking forward to a new term, i want so badly to get back to my cushy 4 day a week schedule! i have a student in my elementary class, his name is jason, i love him more than i have ever loved any student before. i want to adopt him and make him my own, i love him so much! i hope so sooooo badly that i can see him again next term! his birthday was jan 10th, and on the friday before, i bought chocopies for the class to celebrate, but i ended up NOT giving them out, b/c i felt bad, that it wouldnt be fair for other students' birthdays. i gave the pies to my coworkers who were happy to help me get rid of the excess goodies. THEN i instead wrote jason a note, telling him happy birthday and what a good student he is, etc, but i ended up not giving it to him either, b/c i didnt want any of the other children to find out and get jealous... maybe i'll slip him a note or some special stickers on the last day of class or something. i really want to take his picture, i love him so much!!! he's my favorite. i know i say that about all the kids, but really, jason is really really my absolute favorite.

korean class is going ok, i dont LOVE it like i did before when it was still all new and exciting, but it's good. i can read hangul (Korean) albeit very very slowly. the classes run for one month, and im 99% sure i will repeat this course to get a better grasp of things before i move on. it is very difficult, im the slowest student there (as well as the one who has been in korea the longest, HA!) but it's been very exciting to walk around town and be able to read and recognize some words and phrases... well, words, actually, im still too slow to read an entire phrase. my class is very diverse: im the only american. there are 4 other students: one each from thailand, japan, germany, china, and iraq. pretty cool.

in class during break time last week, i read something in korean for the class, telling them i was learning korean and bragging about how EASY it is. i started to read, "Ahn... yyyoooo... g.. guh... gaah..." and smart little kenneth asked, "uhm, teacher, why are you speaking alien language?" hardy har har.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Subject: three (send this first): new hector?
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:57:45
dear mom and dad,

hi! it's freezing, just walking down the street to the mandu spot i eat at is torture; by the time i get there, my ears and nose HURT b/c it's so cold. puh. btw, attached is a photo of my coworkers in our breakroom at work, devouring the cookies you sent. There were more people, but the girls were being lame and didnt want to be inthe photo. the boys had no shame, and asked i bring cookies in more often, requesting more chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin next time.

so whats happening on the pet situation? mr.gomez has passed, will there be a new pet in the household? i like cats best. i found there is a cat shelter in seoul, and im going to look into fostering. but im going to do more research, any pets i get are going to have to stay with me for life; i'll need to check into bringing pets back into the states. i really miss my cats rosie and goldfish :(

well, im off, i only had a minute, i just wanted to send an email, i know how mom gets anxiety when i dont write for more than 5 days in a row :) ~daughter

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Subject: i got the box
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2009 05:30
dear mom and dad,

xmas has come and gone, my school was closed that day: we were the only ones open last year on xmas day, i remember. and im pretty sure i had full attendance in both classes. those korean kids sure are dedicated! or at least, their parents are dedicated to sending them to school ;)

anyways, xmas was coo, i spent the day locally with my coworker/friend Jinny. she's my favorite person at work, and her contract will end and she's leaving the school soon. there's only one instructor who has been there longer than me, now. wow. it's my two year anniversary in february, isnt that crazy? time flies.

new years has come and gone as well, we didnt have that day off work, but meh. many coworkers and friends went out. as for me, i went home and did a self manicure, it was lovely. it's gotten really cold outside, and being home and staying warm was all i was looking for to bring in the new year, forreals.

i got a box yesterday, with the rightguard and comics and cookies and magazines, thank you so much! i actually had a girlfriend over when the package arrived, and she got a little green about it b/c her family doesnt send her anything. my coworker extends his thanks for the rightgard. Listen now, Dad: do not send more. He doesnt need any. i know it's your habit to keep providing but please dont overdo it. he'll have lots of extra right guard and then my school will think i must be in love with him or something! Uhm, same for the cookies:unfortunately, i havent even seen the sista that loved the cookies so much at the potluck. i brought the ones you sent me (for her in the first place) to the thanksgiving potluck, and they were loved an appreciated absolutely, but i dont want a surplus of cookies, me and my belly dont need them. the batch you sent last time, i brought to work and everyone crawled all over everyone to get one, but still i feel bad b/c i dont eat any (b/c you know i eats plenty of sweets on my own!). anyway, i just wanted to tell you. Ah, but i WOULD like more liquid hand soap to refill my dispenser... and oil of olay facial moisturizer, it's so dry here in winter.

my friend who didnt get the cookies: she didnt come to the thankgiving gathering. she didnt reply to my calls or messages, and it's a trip b/c she is the very first black person i met when i got here to korea. we arrived within a month of each other. But her lack of response wasnt to be taken personally, i later heard later that she went through a hermit phase and didnt really talk to or hang out with anybody for a while. We all go through it. it's interesting, even though we know each other and have made some close connections (i, like many, dont go more than a day without calling one or two friends, to talk on the phone for an hour about nothing, just little friend things), yet still we feel withdrawals of home and familiarity.

anyway, thanks so much for the package, im all over the magazines reading about my man obama. work is great of course. this term, my students are very artistic and do many drawings of ME, i updated the blog and put the pictures here:

love you, miss you, ~daughter.