Korea

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.


Chopsticks

Chopsticks

Dear Aunt Steph, Thank you, oh thank you, Aunt Steph! I really, really like my new chopsticks. I love them! They’re my favorite. Now if anyone comes over, they can have any spoon or any fork they want because now I have these chopsticks. I would love it if you could come and see me […]


Yes, you are cute…

Yes, you are cute…

    Now please do your homework. In all fairness, Tara (on the right) is an exceptional student and one of my favorites. She draws me slightly disturbing, yet undeniably charming, pictures of killer cats and always does her homework. Sally, on the other hand, needs to bring her books to class and stop organizing […]


Corresponding with a 4-year-old

Corresponding with a 4-year-old

Dear Aunt Steph, Hello from Niles Beach! It looks rainy. I think it looks a little nice. I wanted to buy this card for you. I named the swans “Heidi” and “Aunt Steph” because they were hugging. And you guys are friends. I don’t see any swans on Niles Beach today. I need the binoculars. […]


White Day

White Day

So there is this holiday in Korea called White Day. March 14th boys are expected to give chocolates to girls…apparently February 14th, or Valentine’s Day, girls are supposed to give candy to boys. So, today was our day. Since the only boys I know in Korea are ages 9-13, I did not receive any chocolates […]


To all the boys in my 4 o’clock class…

To all the boys in my 4 o’clock class…

Ease up on the kimchi, would ya? It’s a small room and the windows don’t open.


To Market

To Market

Today I finally went to the huge open farmer’s market near my apartment. It was a bit like stepping back in time with old wooden carts and sellers crouched around fires to keep warm while trimming root vegetables. It was strange to feel like I was out in the middle of nowhere just steps from […]


The Night She Walked Home Giggling…

The Night She Walked Home Giggling…

1) Tonight I threw a student out of class for the first time. He was so resistant to leaving that I actually had to go out to the office, get our school manager, Kelly and ask her to come get him out of the room. She came in and he still would not move. After […]


Heavenly.

Heavenly.

You know those days that are absolutely perfect in their simplicity, in the tiny little moments, that when you get home you find yourself laying on the floor in your pajamas with wet hair smiling for no particular reason at all? Today was one of those days. First of all, teaching was a great pleasure […]


Three weeks

Three weeks

Three weeks ago at this moment I was just barely off an airplane and sound asleep in the back of a minivan on the way to the countryside in Central Korea. It seems like a century ago, yet it also seems like yesterday Janelle and I were driving in her Ford Focus listening to Brit […]


Two Small Victories, One Giant Frustration and a few Tiny Observations

Two Small Victories, One Giant Frustration and a few Tiny Observations

For being the self-proclaimed “most wired country in the world”, it sure is a pain in the ass to get a wifi signal in Seoul. I had better access last week in the middle of nowhere. At least the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” not only lives up to its name, it could […]


Let the Culture Shock Begin

Let the Culture Shock Begin

This morning I realized that without na├»vety and my hopeless optimism, I wouldn’t do half the things I have chosen to do in my life. It’s like a necessary amnesia to force me over the precipice into unknown territory. Oh, sure, it will be easy. It will be fine. Simple. It’s simple to move to […]


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