When you’re fresh off the boat, no one tells you what to wear, but more importantly, no one tells you what not to wear. It wasn’t my parents’ top priority to ensure that I joined the glam squad or became one of the popular girls in school. Like many other parents, they were busy trying… Continue reading What not to wear- FOB addition!
“Ppalli! Ppalli!” my dad urgently called out, jolting us from our half-asleep state. My older sister, younger brother, and I stirred, accustomed to abrupt awakenings, though this time tinged with concern. We awaited what might follow — perhaps a reprimand or a drunken lecture, not uncommon when our dad decided to rouse us. Fortunately, this time it… Continue reading little joy
“Don’t go out there!” my older sister shouted. “Why not?” I sneered. “Because… they’re going to think you’re a prostitute!” she persisted. Rolling my eyes at her, I unlocked my parents’ beat-up Korean BBQ van and dashed out. Wanting some fresh air, I ran to the open part of the Circus Circus Parking complex. I… Continue reading Dream big
There were eight of us, and I thought to myself, not all of us are going to make it. The setup alone of the photo station was as if a madman had rigged it. Besides the photo station, I was more fearful of my counterparts. If I may generalize and stereotype… There is always that… Continue reading A Case for the Awkward (II)
Elmont “Smile for me now—it will not work,” he said in a firm voice. This came from my silver-haired fox coworker in Elmont, NY. Most people have never heard of Elmont; it’s a border town of Queens, NY, and officially the start of Long Island, NY. I like to think of Long Island as the… Continue reading A Case for the Awkward (p.I)
FEB 23.2024 Her story is not unique, but one that needs to be told. Her memories of her encounter with America were soldiers stationed in South Korea. She is my mother. She gleefully tells me, “Younga, the first time I spoke English was to ask the soldiers for gum; they always gave away candy to… Continue reading Mother’s story (pI)