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

Sunday, April 26, 2009

my fukuoka visa run

in process

i have mynew e-2 visa number. so i have to leave korea, go to a korean consulate elsewhere, get the visa, and then i can return to korea and go back to work. i'll go this week or next week.

the fukuoka visa run forum on daves

nice directions on getting to the korean consulate from the subway

here's the hotel i might stay at
how to get to this hotel from the korean consulate:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

volunteering in korea
when you get settled into your job, you can find yourself with a lot of free time. it's important to have hobbies here, otherwise you turn into one of the expats who smoke and drink all the time. people i know study korean, work on a masters degree, play music, read, write, knit, draw, paint, etc.

i was on the hunt for Kyeong Saeng Won orphanage to volunteer there b/c it's in jamsil where i live, but i havent found it yet. in my search, i found this website that helps expats find places to volunteer. Thier main focus is on English lessons for children from low-income or disadvantaged families in Seoul, but they also do things like serve food to the homeless and help out at orphanages.

it's untrue that youre not allowed to volunteer under an e-2 visa, btw. so long as you arent getting paid, you can volunteer where ever you want. i should mention i first heard about HOPE via my coworker xohoua at cdi pyeongchon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

drank dat soju, boy.

soju is the local hard liquor of choice in south korea. it's really cheap, like a dollar for a full bottle. people drink it in shots or mixed with juice, making a soju cocktail. i think it tastes like a smoother version of vodka. this is a video made by my good friend elliott, a beautifully ignorant tribute to soju.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


this is my beautiful friend zhaleh. she is an esl teacher in south korea who works with adults. she wrote this "funny things people said" on her myspace. pretty exemplary of the funny conversations we sometimes have with people here in korea.~supafly

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
funny things that people have said to me this month

dominican guy in the club
: ayyyy, mamita, u have the disease!
me: what?
dominican: u have that disease of the ass, hips, chest. they get all swollen and big.
dominican: hey, don't laugh at me!!! u have the disease but i am the one suffering...
me (to student): i'm having some problems with the way seoul's pollution is affecting my skin. do you know where i can get a good facial?
student: teacher, you don't need a facial. you just need to wash your face.
student: teacher, do you have a picture of yourself on your watch?
me: no, mr. park, that's che guevara.
student: she looks just like you!
me: mr. park, che guevara is a man.
student: ah, i know who he is. he is a north korean communist pig!
while i was walking to work this morning, a street cleaner stopped and stared as i passed. once i was almost at the end of the block, he yelled, 'BEYONCEEEEEEEEE!!!!! UP-UH-GRADE MEEE!!!!!!!!
drunk canadian girl in the club (yelling to be heard above the music): i love your hair!
me: thanks!
drunk canadian girl: you're a really good dancer. i bet you can work it!!
me: ...thanks.
drunk canadian girl (suddenly jumping at me and squeezing my breasts): I LOVE YOUR BOOBS!!!!!!!
me (pushing her off and running away): HEEEEEEELLLLP!!!!!!!!
me: hi mr. pyun! what should we discuss today?
student: food! i am very hungry.
me: okay. what is your favorite food?
student: i like kimbap that is dressed up like something are very dressed up. you look delicious.
me: mr. pyun, that isn't appropriate.
student: AH! I'M SORRY! I DIDN'T MEAN TO SAY DELICIOUS!!!! I TRIED TO SAY BEAUTIFUL!!! (jumps up and runs out of my office)
me: mr. pyun! come back!
student: (pausing in the hallway with his back to me) teacher...i know you are not a food!
me (to student): what did you do this weekend?
: i went shopping with my daughter.
: how nice! how old is your daughter?
: 15
: cute!
: NOT cute. my daughter is NOT cute. she has very big shoulders, like man. when she says "mama" i think it is man call me.
(jaw on the floor): whoa...
: yes! if i had a lot of money, i would take her to the cosmetic surgery to cut her face and be beautiful.
: i have never heard a mother talk like this about her daughter. i feel a little uncomfortable, mrs. hur.
: someday, if you have ugly daughter, you talk like me too.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

i love ice cream

from the blog seoulitary confinement, read about the delicious ice cream: The Black Crunch Bar. ive had it, pretty tasty. in fact, im going to go to gs mart so i can buy and eat one right now. ah-saaah!

Friday, April 03, 2009


you can watch korean movies with english subtitles at some theatres in seoul, discussed here on daves. i believe the theatre in yongsan also has subtitles, catering to the military population.

for my own personal reference, since i live close to gangnam: For Cinus Gangnam (Cinus G), go to Gangnam Station, line No. 2, exit 5

dial 02-1330 from your cell phone to get info on movies (or just about anything else), available in english 24/7.

to look up online: movies in seoul, gyeonggido, and other areas here:

and here's a link for movies in gwangju

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

got my Criminal Background Check

don't read this post unless youre bored. it's old and no longer relevant. starting dec 31, 2010, your criminal background check has to be done via the fbi, so go to this website and get your paperwork started:
i started this process 3/10/09. during this process, my visa expired, my extention expired, and my request for a second extention was denied. i had to leave korea. i went to japan for a day and came back as a tourist. i havent worked in 3 weeks, y'all!

so this is how i got my visa the slow way:

as of 12/15/07, would-be teachers must submit a criminal records check (CRC) AND a health certificate with E-2 visa appplications. The health certificate can be done at any hospital i think. For the CRC: get an fbi or state CRC, or a local police check/report from your city/state of residence that shows a statewide criminal record (this is also called a letter of good conduct, or GCL or Good Conduct Letter it's all the same). I did the former. had i to do it over again, i'd have done that latter, getting the letter is much faster.

to get my background check, i first had to get an official fingerprint card. click here, fill out the form. tell them that you're a teacher in Korea needing to renew your visa and ask them to send you the california fingerprinting cards.

<---this is what the finger print card looks like (thank you google image search). i think it was under 2 weeks that i got it in the mail (they sent 2 blank cards to me in korea).

once you get the card, fill out everything in english and go to police station to get fingerprinted. bring a translator. i went alone, and luckily one woman there spoke english.

MAYBE the police will be confused as to why youre there, as were my local police dept. B/c these laws are new, many dont know what is needed and blah blah blah. Anyway, they looked at my arc card and passport, then pulled out the ink, printed me, and sent me on my way. they didnt ask to keep a copy or anything at all. i think this is strange b/c how does anyone know those are MY prints? there's no proof i did it AT the police station, i couldve printed my neighbors dog, who's going to find out? i dunno. maybe these visa laws will be tweaked in the future.

the prints cost $32 to do, they'll take a money order in US dollars or personal check (drawn fm a US bank). the cost of the GETTING the money order was almost 20,000 won at my korean back, so i had my pops send me a check in the mail.

i sent the fingerprints, a $32 check, and a letter saying i need the cbc b/c im renewing my E-2 Visa. in the letter, i asked for an offical seal/stamp and signature, but i still got a shitty copy that korean immigration rejected. i wrote another letter, included the "good" sample below, and got a "good" cbc in the mail 3 weeks later. if youre in the midst of this process, print and attach the sample below w/your request.

then i took the the background check to the american embassy here in korea to get an affidavit. this is sort of the same as having it "authenticated." the embassy doesnt authenticate anything, instead you go in and sign a paper promising the cbc is real. they gave me a copy of that paper, and i turned in that, the cbc, my passport, my uni degree, and uni transcripts to my job, and they'll get me a new visa number. once i do, ill have to leave the country and come back, this is called a "visa run." THEN i can go back to work.

Had i to do this all over again, i wouldve done the cbc with the police dept, its much faster. read about it here.

a shitty background check and next to it, a better, more official looking background check: