links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea

Saturday, January 01, 2000

rent/black people/ spending when i first got here

----- Original Message ----
From: Rya
To: english teacher <>
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:39:58 AM
Subject: Hey Sha!
Hey! I read your other blog about whats going on. I like your combination of realism and optimism. It seems like the other people in your group are not taking this experience for the good it can be. my question to you is why didnt cdi pay for your apartment? Have you run into any other black folks yet? PS - my next step is to read up on Korean history & culture. And find out why they were such a "closed society" for so long. peace. love. joy
On 2/15/07, english teacher <> wrote:
cdi has two options: paid hourly & find your own housing (they'll loan key money) or salary &they provide housing for you. i opted for the 1st. this way, i wont always be scheduled to work full hours every week, and i'd like to use this first year to get to know korea.

i have seen 3 black people so far! one was sitting inthe office at immigration when i went to register for my arc card, im pretty sure he was east african, we smiled and each other and said hi and that was it. i walked by a black guy in the subway yesterday but it was so crowded we didnt make eyecontact and i didnt get to say hi. and lastly, there is a brother here inthe cdi program with me. i've only seen him once, his training sessions are at different hours than mine, i havent had the opportunity to talk to him. he's CUTE tho.i'm yet to see another sista.

aside from surfing eslcafe, the only prep i did on korean culture was watch a lot of korean movies.

On 2/16/07, english teacher <> wrote:
damn you gots sharp eyes, i dont even remember nor could i find where i say im not gettig paid until april 10! :) it's cool, they let me know that before i came and cautioned all of us to bring enough money. for salary employees, they suggested 800USD, for hourly like me, they suggested $1500. i actually only brought about 1100 b/c it was all i had, and NO credit cards b/c i dont have have any *blush* yeah, messed up that credit pretty bad... i think i wrote somewhere in the blog as a suggestions to bring: credit cards, cash, and travelers cheques, which i did WANT to do, but i was too proud to ask anyone for money. this is why i've been eating mostly ramen, they're huge and under a dollar, and i dont want to go to a restaurant and blow money on a foreigner priced meal. im not suffering at all, tho, after walking around the blocks, i found little lunch counters that sell a meal for like 2-3 USD.

from what i've read, you can get by in korea on under 1000 USD in one month, and i dont even have to pay rent for a while, and i dont blow my money on restaurant food and alcohol, like my colleagues, so im sure i'll be ok until payday. you konw how it is, when youre in a situation, you just make it work. im fearless, it's going to work out.

some good money news, i found out yesterday that as soon as we're able to open our bank accounts, we simply need to let cdi know the account number and they'll deposit the reimbursement of our airfare (which most ofus got, some didnt, i dont know why). i can open a bank account as soon as i get my passport back from immigration, which will be next week.
----- Original Message ----
From: Rya >
To: english teacher <>
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2007 6:40:25 AMS
ubject: Re: Hey !
You dont even have to go there with me about the credit cards - Im going to SK to pay them off and bring up my credit score. Thats a headache within itself. But Im really glad it is working out for you so far. You sound like you've got a good system going for yourself already.

How have the Korean reactions been to you so far? As far them seeing you on the street? If you ever need something sent to you - please let me know i'll do what i can - i feel its the least i can do for your advice and putting up with my crazy and numerous emails. and yes I did my research on Korean history and culture. now i need to learn/practice Korean. I'll keep you posted.
On 2/21/07, english teacher <> wrote:
hi rya. i just got an email today from another sista who is looking to go to korea! im so glad i started my silly blog, ive met a lot of cool people from it, yourself included :) im going to cc this email to her.

as for reactions on the street: honest to god, i havent noticed anything extreme at all. much like back home: b/c im black, im thick, my locks, and b/c im just so beautiful; ive been stared at all my life, so i dont even notice it anymore. really tho, i walk around and sometimes i'll notice a person glance, but its not conspicuous or malicious. On two occasions on the subway, children (like maybe 15 and under, not sure of age) make eyecontact with me and smile or giggle. it's cute, tho. it'll be interesting to see how my students will be when i walk into that classroom for the first time on monday.

i was thinking the other day about how nervous and paranoid i was about coming here, but now im so glad i did. it's only been about a week but things have been really nice.

the school has found an apt for me, its gorgeous, i love it, & its so close to the school. i'll eventually put pictures up on the blog. i move in mid-next week.

that myspace group i started is up to 17 people! its so exciting! ithink you said you dont have myspace, but girl seriously consider opening up an account (it's free). when i get more situated here, i'm going to arrange a mixer or something. maybe in itewon, it's where most foreigners are, and perhaps it wont be too big a deal for like 5-10+ black people congregating in one place. :)
---- Original Message ----
From: Rya >
To: english teacher
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 10:39:16 PM
Subject: Re: Hey S!
Please feel free to give the other woman my email, we can have pre-Korea chat.:-) I've read soooooooooooooo much stuff about Korea, I feel amazingly prepped to go except for Language. I am beginning to volunteer at the EFL lab in my school, twice a week. I know the experience will do me good and Im going to obtain a tefl certificate, anything that will better train me and give me more money, ya know? the cert. course im using starts in price at $295, which is very cheap in comparison to other courses.

i still havent told my mother, i wont until i start applying & interviewing. i get so anxious sometimes because im giving up everything i know for someplace i dont know at all but its fine, i know it will be great.

ps - i spoke to a really great recruiter yesterday that was quite helpful and honest. i told him i was black and he said he placed 2 black teachers last month and 3 going over this month. he asked me where i wanted to live - im not sure yet actually. Seoul has been compared to NYC while BUsan has been compared to San Francisco. but im thinking for safety i should move to seoul. i mean i already have the name and number of a black hair shop there :-). stay well.

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