One of the many perks of living in Korea vs. back home is the living situation. A place.. all to myself.. before 30? In a big city that I like? How is this possible?

I’ve had my fair share of (mostly pleasant) roommates, but these days my only roommate is non-human.

And that roommate is…THE MOSQUITO.


Like another roommate (human) I had in NYC, I only see him when he wants to eat, when we lock eyes and he quickly disappears.  And despite the cold, cold temperatures here in Busan, he and his family still thrive somehow. Just waiting. And watching.

Let’s take a look at some of my other past roommates who still owe me rent.


Started squatting in my first apartment ever in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This little turd kept me awake at night playing games and actually caused me to move out in my weakened state.  An old boyfriend of mine managed to trap him in a box and without thinking of step two, threw him into the hallway in a panic. I thought the problem was solved but of course, he came back and settled in.


Like the quarter full bottles of Advil and expired vitamins that have traveled with me to almost every new apartment, Cockroach Jr.and his friends have made appearances in most of my city apartments. Despite a consistently empty sink and regular trash emptyings, they always manage to find their way into the old buildings I’ve lived in. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with generations of cockroaches living with rent control.


Arriving through a hole in our alleyway, this rude dude Kool-Aid man style broke through my closet wall and was seen sitting on my office window sill in a rowhome I lived in, in Philly. Eventually lured out with orange slices, it turned out that two of his brothers were also in tow, scratching and clawing, like a terrible nightmare that was my waking life for a few weeks.

It’s been more than ten years since I’ve lived on my own and considering overpriced rents, inflation, and interest over time, I think some money is due back to me from these greasy little creatures. Pool your money together and pay up, ya weasels.*

*Thankfully, no real weasels crashed in my apartments. The thought of an evil weasel face staring at me in the night sends a chill down my spine.

After a hectic journey of overnight bus rides, begging bus drivers for stand-by seats, staring forelornly, and chicken nugget breakfast, we finally arrived at Seoraksan National Park in the northeast part of the country on a Saturday morning. Boy was it all worth it because Mama Mia, look at that view.


I turtled behind my friends for most of the hikes, but kept a good pace. Wonderfully, I was rewarded for my efforts by some strangers with a Korean pumpkin fruit leather (that I have never seen before and loved) and tangerines. The kindness of strangers is a beautiful thing.

Currently busy with holiday festivities, but I have some drawings up my sleeves and will see you in 2018!


While I was in Hanoi, I discovered a new love for something I thought already held enough space in my heart.

That love was for my new best fruit friend, lime. A fruit I am ashamed to admit, I never thought of much before.

It was an OK fruit.

A fruit that was nice to squeeze onto some tacos or in a drink. Key lime pie was all right, but if you were to tell me that key lime pie was your favorite pie I’d think you were most certainly lying. To my face. Lying straight to my face.

But then, here I was, sitting with a friend in Vietnam over a bowl of pho and my tune changed quickly and forever. How could I have ever doubted you my sweet and sour green pal? You were hiding right in front of my eyes just waiting to be loved. A quality I’ve never prescribed to a food but I am now prescribing to you. I am now a lime girl. You’ve made me spiral very quickly, dear lime. I will squeeze your guts out of you until one of us goes first, and I hope it’s me.













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Japan, Life in Korea

The Vest