6 Things I Didn’t Know about Korea Before I Moved Here

"What do you mean, 'the air is poison'?" I said. "We're in Korea, not China." Veronica shook her head and set down her fork on our makeshift "Christmas Dinner" table, aka a glass table that resembled a tongue on the floor of Nadea's apartment. I got a sinking feeling in my gut, because Veronica always … Continue reading 6 Things I Didn’t Know about Korea Before I Moved Here

(Almost) Stranded in Boseong

  Text Conversation Over We Chat, 9:22PM Kylie: our bus leaves at 7:55, so let's get there at 7:20. not sure how to get from the train stop to the bus terminal   Weng-Ching: It says it's just connected I think it's the bus terminal I went to before It's literally just there I'll meet … Continue reading (Almost) Stranded in Boseong

What Korean School Lunch is like

The food is easily my favorite thing about Korea. This will be shocking to hear for anyone who knows me at all. I'm the kind of person who eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac and cheese, and chicken nuggets on a regular basis. My friends used to joke that my sexual fantasies included swimming … Continue reading What Korean School Lunch is like

My Korean Dating Disaster

"You said you need to lose weight, right?" my date said between slurps of noodles. "I don't think I said that." "Oh." He put down his noodles and went back to the chicken, unbothered. "You said something about how Korean girls are so skinny." "Yes." I poured myself more beer. "That doesn't mean I need … Continue reading My Korean Dating Disaster

A Day in the Life: Teaching English in Korea

5:30AM: I’m a morning person, I tell myself. I like getting up early, I tell myself. Go be an early bird and catch some worms, I reason with myself. I let out a groan of misery and flop onto my back, count to three, and throw my limp body forward into a somewhat-upright position. Happy … Continue reading A Day in the Life: Teaching English in Korea

Climbing a Mountain While Hungover

"Whatever they ask you to do, say yes." This was the advice that one of the speakers gave us at EPIK orientation. Were you invited to a Tuesday-night work dinner where you'll stay out late drinking soju and won't understand anyone? Say yes. Did your principal ask you to teach after school classes and judge … Continue reading Climbing a Mountain While Hungover

How Can You Make Friends in Your Second Language?

Very late PSA: I'm going to Seoul as an English teacher with EPIK next week... ...and sometimes I wonder how I'm going to make friends with my elementary Korean skills. After all, so much of our personalities is conveyed through our words. As a writer and English teacher, the very foundation of my career is … Continue reading How Can You Make Friends in Your Second Language?

Being American Abroad

"We're in Portugal," I said. "We can't get burgers." That didn't stop me from staring lustfully at the burger stand in the Lisbon food court. From twenty feet away, I could still smell all the salt, grease, and diabetes. I looked over at Bethany and Amanda, who wouldn't look at me because they were hypnotized by … Continue reading Being American Abroad

When to Play the “Foreigner Card”

Foreigners in Salamanca are called guiris. I don't know if guiris give off a particular smell, but everyone seems to know that we're not Spanish. My host mother once described my complexion by holding up a porcelain plate, and combined with my Asian-ish eyes, I'm not surprised that people don't mistake me for a local. But … Continue reading When to Play the “Foreigner Card”