“He leaned all of his weight into the shopping cart filled with bags of recycling, pushing it north on Balsam Street through the hundred-and-ten-degree summer heat of Ridgecrest, Calif. on Friday just before noon. The bags were stacked higher than his head, and John Hobart is a tall man.”
“Residents of Ridgecrest” is the column series I created at the Daily Independent newspaper in Ridgecrest, California. It explores the unique people that make their home in this isolated Mojave Desert town.
“After a month of commuting every night, he took a sleeping bag to work and found some cardboard boxes to throw on the ground in the small employee room at the back of the store. He sleeps there through the night–every night, because he works every day. He told me he only goes home two days a year during harvest and spring festivals.”
I created this interview series for my blog while I was living in South Korea as an English teacher. I knew I wanted to write and tell the stories of the people I met along my travels, but at that time I didn’t know where I could publish my work. I decided to just start writing, and the work would come. It’s a decision that worked well for me.
“I hear significantly more panic about North Korea while living in the United States than I ever did while living in South Korea. There seems to be something about the nature of North Korea that the South Koreans understand and Americans do not.”
I lived in South Korea for three years as an English teacher, and even volunteered with North Korean refugees. When I returned to the USA, I was surprised by how scared Americans always are of North Korea despite the lack of real danger, compared to how calm South Koreans are despite the existence of real danger.
This article is opinion piece for the Daily Independent works through what South Koreans understand about North Korea that Americans do not.