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Posts from the ‘Living in Korea’ Category

6 Years

June 16th, 2007: After 11 months of emails and myspace (!!!) messages, HCB and I had our first date.

Halfway through our long correspondence—while I was in London and he was in California—I was shocked to realized that I was falling in love with him. I felt foolish and too young because only a silly 21-year-old would waste his time and energy like that. After all, I’d only really met the idea of him: a brilliant, sweet, nerdy grad student who would, of course, never return my feelings. Not wanting to make a fool of myself, I kept quiet about it and just enjoyed the emails we exchanged three or four times a week. Read more

A Scrub at the Jjimjilbang, Or: How I Got to Third Base With an Ajeoshi

Personal space is of course culturally determined, but it isn’t until a masseur crosses the “bathing suit line” that the truth of that statement really hits home.

Say what you will about regulating a cottage industry like massage therapy, but in this case, regulation has definite benefits: by standardizing the certification process, the customer has something to lean on as he is stripping down to underwear or less. I’m naked with a stranger, but this is a professional environment. Nothing weird is going to happen. Massage therapists employ a long list of comfort-bolstering rituals—all geared at preventing that molesty vibe—but the sine quibus non of the professional massage are as follows: anything not currently being massaged stays happily hidden beneath a drape or towel; going much below the waist requires permission; and genitalia, inner thighs and butt cracks are all OFF LIMITS. Read more

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Trees, Water, Sky (Part 2)

My dear friend Elaine submitted this task to the Scavenger Hunt: “Take pictures of natural beauty: one of trees, one of water and one of the sky.” Although I’ve been more than a little delinquent with the photo blogging, I have been putting together triptychs with this in mind. I’ve already posted the first triptych. Here is the second: Read more

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Trees, Water, Sky (Part 1)

My dear friend Elaine submitted this task to the Scavenger Hunt: “Take pictures of natural beauty: one of trees, one of water and one of the sky.” Although I’ve been more than a little delinquent with the photo blogging, I have been putting together triptychs with this in mind. Here is my first offering; more wait in the wings. Read more

Did You Say I’ve Got A Lot To Learn?

As I sit here doing my 숙제—flashcards and work book exercises and grammar drills—I can’t get this song out of my head: