Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I am 25 years old and I live in the most technological country, and last week I got my first smart phone. It is beautiful. It is black with a pink case, and it is my current favorite thing. I'm trying not to be one of those people everybody hates who doesn't participate in the conversation because they're too "busy" with facebook or whatever, but I don't think I'm doing a very good job. Sorry real life friends. I'll try to be better.

Mina took a group of us to the phone store because she has a gift for getting good deals. She's taken a few batches of people to the same guy, so he knows she's going to bring him a lot of money and he gives discounts. He came and met us at the subway station, gave us coffee, and paid for our cab ride to the phone store. Off to a great start! I wish more things in life included free coffee. Then we sat there for a long time because there were 4 of us and we had important decisions to make, like what color phone to get and how much data is necessary each month. But after a few hours we all left with phones, free phone cases, and smiles on our faces.

And now, now I can check my email anytime I want. I can google the answers to all my questions whenever I feel like it. I can message people in three different ways. I can take pictures of everything I eat (I reallllllly don't want to become that person, but it's nice to have the option). I don't have a worse phone than my 1st grade students anymore. Life is good. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

House hunting

When I back moved to Korea my friends Anna and Lydia let me live with them so I wouldn't be homeless. I've spent the past 3 months in a quaint little fishing village, and it was great. I could see the ocean from the living room. We walked through a vegetable patch to get to the bus stop. I went running next to lighthouses.

But, now that I have a job, it was time to be a big girl and get my own apartment. Mina offered to take me house hunting last week. I knew what area I wanted to live in so we found a realtor and told him what I was looking for. We followed him from apartment to apartment and tried to keep up - it was hot and he was a very fast walker. 

I really liked the 3rd place of the day. It had a good layout, it was clean, and it felt pretty new. The guy said places were going fast and he wanted me to sign a lease then but I wasn't ready to be done looking. I just planned on seeing what my options were, not actually committing to anything that day. So we kept going. God bless pregnant Mina, I think I dragged her to 4 more places after that. The last apartment of the day was the best one. It had the same layout as the 3rd one that I liked, but it was in a better location, it had an elevator, and it was just nicer overall. At least I thought it was. We hadn't been taking pictures and I couldn't remember exactly what the 3rd place looked like. 

By that point in the day I had decided I should just commit to something. I was afraid I would think about it for a few days and then the apartment I liked would be gone and I'd have to start the process all over. So I asked if we could go back to the 3rd place one more time. We walked in and I knew I liked the last place better. So we all went back to the realtor's office, I stopped by the bank to draw out a lottttt of cash, and I signed the paperwork. 

And just like that, in less than 4 hours, I had a new home. That's what I call efficiency. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


This weekend my friend Thao wanted to go to the library to check out some picture books for her class, and I said I'd tag along. Children's books are the best! The cute stories, the illustrations...they're just so good and heartwarming. One of my favorite things to do is read to my kids and watch them get excited about the pictures and make them guess what will happen next. So of course I was down for a trip to the library! It was going to be so much fun.

Me and Thao. For like 3 months we ended up wearing the same thing every time we saw each other. We look alike right? ;)

The English library is part of this giant English center that's made up of a bunch of buildings. So naturally it took us a while to figure out exactly where the library was - on the 5th floor of course. Wouldn't want to make it easy to check out those books. We make our way up there and the lady tells us Thao has to register for a library card. She points to a computer and we figured out she had to put in her name and ARC number. It didn't work. So she tried again, and it didn't work again. So an employee came over and tried a few times, and it still didn't work. So another employee came over and asked to see Thao's ARC card and then she and I realized she probably had to write her entire name, not just first and last. That did the trick! One problem solved. 

Then we browsed. We found so many good books, including one about an egg who wants to fly and ends up as breakfast. It's called Egg Drop. Clever right? I love children's books! Almost all the kiddos said hello as they walked past us, and I'm pretty sure one mom took a picture of the 2 us looking through books. I wonder what she's planning on doing with that - adding it to the family scrapbook? When Thao narrowed her choices down we went to go check them out. 

The guy at the check out counter was the first employee who had tried to help us with the library card. They have this ATM-type machine that does it all for you. First you have to scan the barcode on your card, which took us probably 4 times to get right. Then a little video shows you that you have to put the books on this scale-type thing with the spine out. First Thao put the books on the wrong way, and then the machine timed out and we had to start over. The third time it worked, and you guys, it was like magic. The books just sit on the scale and nothing scans them but somehow the machine knows how many you have and what the titles are. I was genuinely amazed. I think the guy thought I was crazy. 

We were finally done and decided to get coffee at the English cafe. We had tried to go pre-library but there was nobody there to make us our drinks. We enjoyed our caramel macchiatos and had a nice little chat and when it was time to go Thao said, "Where's my umbrella?" Back at the library of course. I'm sure they'll be happy to see us again. So we trudged back up to the 5th floor and retrieved the umbrella and left laughing at the nonsense that was the past few hours. Who would have thought we would have so many problems trying to get a few picture books? At an English library no less? Thao turned to me and said "You should blog about this."

The moral of the story is this: sometimes things are hard because you're a foreigner, and sometimes things are hard because you're just being dumb. But no matter what you end up with a funny story. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Things that didn't happen

From my trip to Fukuoka...just because blogs are better with pictures

Today I was having coffee with a friend and we ended up talking about the things that haven't worked out in our lives. Not the little bummers, but the life-altering things. The things that at the time it feels like you'll never recover from. 

Pretty much nothing in the past few months has gone the way I thought it was going to. I flew back to Korea to interview for a job that seemed like a sure thing, and I didn't get it. And for a few months I was unemployed in a foreign country - scary. Most of the time I was genuinely ok, I knew that this was where I was supposed to be and I knew eventually I would have a job. But there were a few days I was so anxious about what wasn't happening that I felt physically sick. 

Back up a few years to when I was a senior in high school, I had my sights set on a certain college. I wanted to go there so bad, I had gone down for a visit and I could picture myself living on campus and loving it. When I didn't get accepted I was crushed. But if  I hadn't gone to the college I did - if I had gone there instead - I wouldn't have some of my best friends. I most likely would never have heard about EPIK or decided to teach in Korea. 

And now I'm so glad things happened the way they did. I'm glad I have the job I have in the city I live in. I'm glad God's plans are greater than my plans, and that he can make something great come out of things I see as disasters. I'm glad God hasn't let me settle for things I thought were good when he had something better waiting for me.  I'm glad things haven't played out exactly the way I pictured - how boring would that be? To never have anything surprising happen? It's not fun to have your life turned upside down, but so far pretty great stuff has come out of it. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Look what I saw

As I was leaving work tonight I saw the most beautiful purpley-golden sky. I immediately got out my camera and I was kind of surprised that I was the only one taking pictures. Everybody else was just walking home. Replace those buildings with a beach and it could be a pretty Hawaiian sunset. 

What a lovely way to end the day.