First Year

To (Not) Go Home

To (Not) Go Home

“So, why Korea?” Marshall asked as we drove through the mountains of Vermont en route to New Year’s in Montréal. “I really wanted to study printmaking in Italy.” “I hate to tell you, Steph, but have you looked at a map?” But that is exactly how it began. I wanted to study printmaking in Florence. […]


After Snowboarding

After Snowboarding

The day I was very sore. The day in which I ate the best dak galbi I’ve ever had. The day in which I washed dak galbi out of my new white shirt. Obviously. The day in which I drove through the mountains in the back of a Jetta. The day in which I ate […]


The Tallest Waves Up To Our Teensy Toes

The Tallest Waves Up To Our Teensy Toes

Dear Aunt Steph, Merry Birthday and Merry Christmas! We’re writing you from Kentucky, and I have a Disney ball, Disney Barbies and a Hello Kitty CD player from Santa! He brought them all the way down here! And I have a giant pencil, but it’s not from Santa. It’s from a truck stop. How are […]


On Nine and Counting

On Nine and Counting

Sunday morning I woke in the most comfortable bed I have slept in for some time, in an apartment about seven times the size of mine, halfway up Namsan mountain, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking all of Seoul. Well, all of one-quarter of Seoul. Saturday night had included blue shoes, hamburgers, hot chocolates, 1/3 of Ocean’s […]


Eleventeen

Eleventeen

It is the 17th of October, which means eight months and one week ago today I was standing blurry-eyed on the sidewalk at Incheon International Airport with my suitcases. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I may as well have been drunk for the latter half of January and all of February, […]


Five Hundred Million

Five Hundred Million

My sweet, sweet Madelyne, Today you turned five years old. I don’t really need to tell you this since the second you picked up the phone this morning you said, “It’s my birthday Aunt Steph. I am five.” I honestly don’t know how this happened. In fact, I remember when Mommy & Daddy and I […]


The Beach

The Beach

This week we are on school holiday to celebrate Korean Thanksgiving or Chuseok, and Monday I travelled out to the west coast with my friend Susan to visit Eulwangni Beach. It was a perfect blue-sky sunny day and fated to be even better, as by 1pm I already had one man buy me beer & […]


Convenient Advertising for the Adopted.

Convenient Advertising for the Adopted.

Palace Schmalace

Palace Schmalace

So yesterday I went a-palacing with my friends Arliss and Erin and their friend YoungMi. I have been rather hell-bent on seeing Changdeokgung Palace because there is a Secret Garden on the palace grounds. I don’t know about you, but anything that has the word “Secret” in it is somewhere I want to go. My […]


flick this

flick this

three of us., originally uploaded by youngdoo.   It’s true that I prattle on about Flickr and its virtues. It’s true that I use such superlative proclamations as “Flickr has changed my life” and “If I could make-out with a website, I would make-out with Flickr.” But it is also true that Flickr has brought […]


Six

Six

Saturday marked the completion of my sixth month in Seoul. I am officially half-way there, whatever “there” means. Half-way to the end? To the start? It is unclear at this time. My sister, unknowingly anticipating the occasion, sent a care package which arrived just in time to celebrate. It contained Reeses miniatures and Twizzlers. Please […]


An Open Letter to Ann-Kathrin of Hamburg, Germany

An Open Letter to Ann-Kathrin of Hamburg, Germany

Hi? Ann I’m Sarah. I really miss and also I really like to ask a questions. 1st. Are you happy there? Hello! I have a question to you. Do you like Korea? Do you miss me too? -Kelly- Hi! I want to ask you a question. What was your favorite student in our class? -Susan- […]


Student Names I Am Enjoying As Of Late

Student Names I Am Enjoying As Of Late

Dolly Nemo Bob Irene Adam King Shirley Superman Gary


When you know the Honeymoon is over

When you know the Honeymoon is over

February 2007 “Oh my god, it’s ASIA! Everything is so cute! Everything is so Asian! It’s all so fascinating!” July 2007 “Old woman, seriously, no one can get off the subway if you are pushing to get on. Let’s try this: you wait about 1, maybe 2, seconds and we will all exit. Then you […]


On a Wednesday, one week ago

On a Wednesday, one week ago

Seoul Tower, Namsan Park :: July 4, 2007 Sunset, cable car ride, hot dogs on sticks, pineapple on sticks, jimjilbang scrub-down, The Best Engrish We’ve Seen Yet, apple sodas, last subway, Two Two Chicken and beer.


Swimming in the Sea of Japan

Swimming in the Sea of Japan

Dear Diary, This weekend me and my friend Ann went to the beach. We rode on a bus all the way from Seoul!!! It took three-something hours. The bus had really comfortable seats with adjustable foot rests and a TV with really weird Korean game shows. It was called the Excellent Bus and it was […]


Grossly underestimating what one day can hold

Grossly underestimating what one day can hold

This week and next is the once-per-term middle school exam period, leaving me what amounts to a two-week holiday with no evening classes and Wednesdays off completely. This conveniently coincides with Ann’s visit, so we decided to use my first free Wednesday to visit Mt. Bukhansan National Park in the north part of Seoul. A […]


Tourists

Tourists

Monsoon has arrived early this year, just in time for my friend Ann-Kathrin‘s visit from Germany. If all goes according to the plans of the meterologists, it will be raining for the duration of her 3-week stay. If all goes according to our plan, it will rain only at night or while we are watching […]


Just when you thought you were grasping the language

Just when you thought you were grasping the language

You find out that you’ve been washing your clothes in fabric softener for the last four and a half months.


A legitimate reason to consider permanent residence

A legitimate reason to consider permanent residence

When it comes to hair management, I am of the low-maintenance persuasion. This is for a number of reasons, but most importantly these three: 1) Laziness 2) Frugality 3) Lack of concern for such matters I’m just not someone who can easily part with between $60 and $75 on a monthly basis to maintain the […]


Bragging rights

Bragging rights

On May 5th, photographers all over the Flickrverse captured moments from their days for the very first 24 Hours of Flickr project. I am thrilled to let you know that my photo was one of 122 photos chosen for the 24 Hours of Flickr book that has been published to accompany the slideshow tour & […]


One hundred and something

One hundred and something

For the last month, I have been composing some sort of overdue update to celebrate a variety of things: the mark of my third month, a really wonderful Korean holiday, my first 100 Days, and the end of the first term, beginning of the new. I have started a hundred posts and abandoned them all. […]


Teacher’s Day

Teacher’s Day

To Stephanie. Hi! I’m Lena. Today is Teacher’s day in Korea. But, In America doesn’t have teacher’s day!! You know, I don’t speak well at English. My wish is to speak English well. So, I want to learn English a lot from you. I can understand your talk, but I can’t answer with your question. […]


Do you know what’s worse than bad American pop music?

Do you know what’s worse than bad American pop music?

Three guesses.