Living as an Outsider

Today a white woman got on the bus, and I was struck by her confidence. I live in Korea, so she was the only fully white person on board, but she just calmly smacked her gum and found a seat. My first thought was that this was the attractiveness of the “older” (no longer in […]

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Solo Christmas

Today, like every day, I asked my students, “How are you today?” Although yesterday was Christmas, no one said a word about that. They gave their usual answers: “Happy,” “Hungry,” “Tired and happy,” “Very, very, very, very happy,” and “Angry.” Except one boy. One rambunctious eleven-year-old who occasionally has streaks of uncontrollable laughter that turn […]

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5 Tips for Beating the Heat in Korea

Heat wave getting to you? Click to learn ingenious tips you probably haven't thought of! ;)

I have been melting the past few weeks. It is SO HOT this summer! It’s like the world has turned into one giant sauna! Anyway, we all know that not only does heat make everyone grumpy and tired, but some of us are champion sweat producers. And that’s not a skill we really want to show off. So here are some tips for beating the heat in Korea. Feel free to adapt them to your locale…

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Braving the Public Bathhouse: Some Tips 

Today is Day 4 living without running water. (Why? It froze. In some pipes under a bunch of cement.) Needless to say, it’s been interesting. I never appreciated water so much. While flushing the toilet manually has been fun and all, the most interesting experience by far has been going to the public bathhouse down the street to shower. Here […]

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Back in the Land of Kimchi

It struck me upon this particular return to Korea that I’ve grown surprisingly comfortable here. I’ve gotten used to the decreased eye contact and increased physical contact. To the abrupt but convenient public transportation and the way everyone buries their faces in their smart phones. To getting a free pass on explaining myself in certain situations because […]

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Believing For The Impossible

Just about two weeks ago, I heard some incredible news: Top officials from North Korea had spontaneously decided to come down and meet with South Korean officials. As I read articles online and scrolled through reactions on Facebook, curiosity turned to eagerness and then downright excitement. As someone who has been praying for the reunification of Korea for a […]

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Progress, my friends, Progress! (Studying the Korean Language)

Last night I texted my mom: Guess what, the most amazing thing just happened!! She responded right away: What. She probably thought something actually amazing had happened, as opposed to what really had. I was watching the latest episode of 연애의 발견 (a Korean drama) and the subtitles cut out in the middle, but I still understood almost […]

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What Brothers Are For

I just came across this TED talk video via facebook earlier tonight. At the beginning, I was only half-listening, but in the middle, I suddenly burst into tears. By the end, I was straight-up bawling. There were various reasons for my tears. (If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’re aware that North Korea is very […]

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