The best that I can remember is that the building in the center of the photo was the South Korean Embassy back in 1980. I received a key to this front door the day I was hired. I didn't even apply for the job. Mr. Kwon phoned me that he heard from someone at the American Protestant Church in The Hague that I was looking for a job. The Ambassador was interested in me because I was a former English teacher and would be able to write correct English. No background checks! No Googling! No Facebook! Just, "Here is the front door key, and see you Monday at 9:00 a.m."
22 February 1980
Dear Mother and Daddy,
As you see, I am at work. The Ambassador is still not in, so I'll write you a few lines. I've had only a couple of letters to type this week, so I've studied my Dutch and read a book. If things continue like this, I'll maybe bring some needlepoint to do in the idle hours. I'm not allowed to leave my office except for real business, so I will have to bring something to do.
The Ambassador had a dentist appointment yesterday and did not return to the office. I didn't see him all day. I wonder if and when he will come in today. The other secretaries are nice, and we've had lunch together twice at Chinese restaurants. They are helping me learn the area.
Daddy, I am sorry your company pulled such a rotten trick on you. But J. said he felt something stupid like that would happen when you told us about the new management in Alex. Anyway, I'm glad they did not leave you "high and dry," and get everything you can out of them. Good luck in the job hunting. I am sure there is some hardware company (Lowe's, etc.) that needs a good salesman. As Mother can tell you, there is no disgrace in working from 9-5:30 or 6:00 in a store and then going home to forget about it until the next day. You may not make as much money as you did before, but just think of the time, money, and energy you will save by not having to do all that driving. Good luck and I'll be thinking about you.
We received your letter and pictures yesterday. J. says he looked "drunk," but we know better. The only time I've seen him drink liquor was by mistake. He thought he had 7-Up, poor thing. He has a beer about once a week and wine when we go out, but he is almost a "tee-totaller." I'm lucky, huh?
The Ambassador came in, and I've no work to do now. Maybe later something will turn up. Until then I'll just enjoy the easy life.
Tonight we will visit the bank and then drive back here to The Hague to have dinner with our friends A. and F. They are going to Italy for 10 days in March. I am sure J. will be very envious, but with my new job I can't ask for a holiday so soon.
A. and the two boys leave at 8:00 on Wednesday (27th) night to go to Australia. I'm really happy that she and the boys can finally join her husband there. Mr. and Mrs. S. will surely miss the children, but now they can get back to their own lives.
There is no more real news. The weather is cool and sunny, and I hear birds singing outside my window. Spring will be here soon. Write again when you have time. We hope to hear about the baby soon. I haven't mailed the afghan yet, maybe this week-end.
Take care and I love you both.