Day 154 - Christina

Day 154 - Christina (3rd person I approached)
June 03, 2014 - Christina was reading an ebook when I asked her to chat. She happily set aside her reader as I sat down, explaining my project to her. She seemed impressed that there are over 4000 people following along on Facebook. (I’m absolutely amazed myself!)


Christina was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She is an only child born to Korean immigrant parents.

“Growing up we had a large family home and my Aunt and Uncle were also immigrants, so we all lived in the same house. I grew up with my two cousins, both boys. Though I’m an only child, I definitely experienced the middle child syndrome.” I asked how that manifested itself for Christina.

“Well being a girl with two boys, I became quite tomboyish. They were also very bright, so I felt a need to compete and always work hard to do my best,” she said. Christina’s parents didn’t make things any easier.

“It’s cliche and stereotypical to say my parents placed high importance on education. They micro-managed my life. Until high school at least. By then my aunt, uncle and cousins had moved out. It was just my parents, my grandmother and me. That took some getting used to. The house was so quiet. I felt isolated. High school was not an enjoyable time. I can’t believe when I hear people say they’d love to go back and relive those years. I hated the entire high school experience. I had an existential crisis that hit pretty hard, and was filled with teenage angst. I was angry at things for no apparent reason and I didn’t know why. I didn’t sort things out or even understand until later when I went to University. But no, high school was not fun. Not at all,” said Christina. Despite all this, she got good grades and went to the University of Toronto right after high school.


“I went to university to study linguistics, initially. I thought it would be more about language which fascinates me, but it turned out to be more about the formula of language. It’s kind of the math of English if you will. There wasn’t room for creativity. It was about process. My focus started to change and I ended up studying English and Classics. The English was about literature, and Classics was about antiquities. The Greek classical lifestyles, literature, mythology and sculpture. I also had an interest in Slavic literature which came about from reading Gogol’s poems. I got my degree in English and Classics though,” Christina said. While in university, Christina worked for a tea shop, learning much about various teas and processes.

“I found it fascinating and took in as much information as I could,” she said. Then Christina gave me an example; explaining the difference between ‘orthodox’ tea (loose leaf) and ‘cut-tear-curl’ (used in most teabags).

“I worked there for five years while in university. They were very good to me.”


When Christina completed university, she took some time to decide what to do next.

“I just took it easy for a while and worked. I was seeing a guy at the time and he moved to Seattle, so I followed him to the west coast,” she said. It was the first time Christina had moved away from home.

“My parents were a mess. My mother cried everyday. I don’t want to seem cruel or callous, but it got tired pretty fast. I know they just want the best for me, but I was grateful to put some distance between us for a while.” Christina had been doing some technical writing and continued doing so as a freelance writer in Seattle.

“I stayed in Seattle for about a year, and the relationship became a complete disaster. I went back to Toronto to figure what my next move would be,” said Christina. 


Just four months ago, Christina made the move to Vancouver.

“I survived another polar vortex winter in Toronto, and knew I didn't want to go through that again. This time my parents weren’t sad, just angry that I was leaving them again. My father calls every so often and suggests I go back,” she says with a loving smile.

“I’m looking to get into sound engineering for film. There are some great opportunities here in Vancouver. I’m working in statistics right now, gathering data, it’s a job while I determine what school I'm going to go to for sound production. There are a couple of private schools that specialize in foley, which is what I want to get into. Foley effects are sound effects added to a film during post production. Things like the sound made when a cup gets put on a table, or the sound of traffic in the background. It's the details that help create the soundscape of a movie,” she said.


Christina is single, and we talked about the dating scene for single women in Vancouver.

“I don't want to sound like the typical east-west coast argument. I’m not a defender of the east. In Toronto a man might approach a woman and say something along the lines of ‘I like your face, how about I buy you dinner?’ she says laughing.

“At least they’ll ask you out and aren’t afraid to ask. Here in Vancouver I tried the online dating site scene. Not so good. I got a message from some guy that I’d never even talked to telling me he liked to eat strawberries in the nude. I was like ‘goodbye’ and blocked! It’s a completely different experience for me.” #notastranger