Week 15

Banking in Korea still boggles my mind after six months… my American bank doesn’t care that my password has consecutive numbers but my Korean bank requires me to have no repeating letters or numbers, no consecutive numbers, not have the same numbers as my national ID card, phone number, or bank account number ~AND~ requires me to set up a digital security certificate. That’s only to bank on my phone; to use my laptop I have to use Internet Explorer (eeeewwwww) and download a shit ton of “security” software – which I did download but it tells me, in Korean, there’s a problem so I don’t even bother trying anymore. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thursday:  I’m such an idiot. I left my bag with my house key at a restaurant but I have my wallet and phone… My coworker tried to call the restaurant owner but he didn’t answer. So, I had to ask my landlady to unlock my door and will have to have her son lock it for me in the morning when I go back to get my bag…

Friday: I had to leave my apartment two hours earlier than normal so my landlady’s son could lock my apartment. I went to the restaurant but they were still closed. So I decided to use this time wisely and go to the ENT doctor because my throat had been hurting, I was having chest pains, and coughing up mucous. I have bronchitis probably caused by air pollution. Woohoo. So I’m given a bevy of different pills to take. But to make my shitty day better I pet the nice street cat.


Saturday: I’m at Korean class and have no idea what’s going on because I missed last weeks class in lieu of the music festival I went to. During our break between halves of class my classmate comes up to me and gives me a backhanded compliment of, “Britt you are beautiful but a bit fat – please don’t eat these snacks and go on a diet.” My response: I know. Later during class I caught him blatantly staring at me and I said “why” and he was just like  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)  being a creep.

After walking around HomePlus, I went home and cleaned – deep cleaned my apartment. I washed so much laundry; mostly linens. During this time, I got thirsty for grape juice and walked to the convenience store. The clerk there was really inquisitive about why I was there, what I was doing in Korea, and general questions of that nature.

Today: I refused to get out of bed. I finally did because I was hungry and also wanted to see about getting an eye exam and new pair of glasses. My prescription hasn’t changed in the last four years so that’s good to know. I got an exam and my new glasses in under thirty minutes. The optician, like the man at the convenience store on Saturday, was really curious about where I was from, why I’m in Korea, how long I’ve been here, and how long I intend to stay. I enjoy this new found curiosity but it makes it a bit awkward because the default to those questions is – where are you from, what about you… well these people are obviously Korean.

Until next week,

B

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Hallejuhyer I have access to my $$$ now! 🎈🎉

I went with one of the bilingual staff to the bank today to help along the process of sorting out my account. It took a half hour but a lot was accomplished.

Apparently the lady that helped me last time didn’t really help me at all. The woman who helped me today was giggling and whispering to her neighbor about how my bankbook wasn’t even signed and stamped. So that made me feel great about my previous experience. My account was set up so I could only withdrawal money in person and have my salary deposited. 😳 Yeah that’s practical… 

So while the teller was snickering at the previous person’s blunders I was able to obtain a check card with necessary PIN, a PIN for my passbook, and authorization to send money back to the United States when I need to. 


The teller that helped me also told me I needed a Korean name. I was like, whoa you can’t just throw that at someone like that. I told her “몰라요” and that was apparently a good answer as she giggled at that. I assume she put something like 마리 which is my middle name, but I really don’t know (몰라요). 

I am so glad to finally have access to my money again! 

Banking here confuses me, Chuseok, and video chatting

So I went to set up a bank account last week. I wasn’t given a card of any type, like debit or check card. I was just given this weird passport book, called a passbook. I was asked to put in a PIN and given the book and sent on my way. Since I put the majority of my money in the account I didn’t think much about this until Wednesday when I went to the ATM and inserted my passbook in the machine and it asked me not only for my PIN but a “passbook admission number.” I was like @_@ ummm? So I was left with only $24 for the Chuseok holiday because I am a dumb foreigner and have no idea what I’m doing. So I get to walk to work early on Monday to sort that shit out.


We had/are having a five day weekend because of Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving and Harvest Festival. It’s pretty cool other than the aforementioned lack of cash I have. The weather has cooled down quite a bit and I promise I wasn’t going to be lazy today but it seemed like more fun than getting lost on the bus again.

Last night after the sun set, I went on a walk through the market and ended up at McDonald’s. If you didn’t already know, McDonald’s delivers here…there are even apps for ordering delivery. Here’s a pic of one side of the menu and true to cheesy McDonald’s, it’s called McDelivery.


I video chatted with my parents last night and my mom made my kitty, Emily, talk to me. I cried. I don’t really know why I thought I’d be okay with living away from her; I was delusional I guess? I’ve always been okay being alone (people wise) as long as I had my kitty for company and now that I’m legitimately alone in a foreign country it’s so fucking lonely. I actually started having conversations with myself, like replying in different voices and everything. I saw my nephew, Soren, video chatting as well; we waved and smiled at each other. Facebook video chat/calls are pretty legit if you didn’t already know.

Dairy products here, not only being hella expensive, are sweeter and just don’t taste right. I enjoy bagels for dinner rather than making a meal – and a tiny thing of Philadelphia Cream Cheese is like 6,000 won, so like just shy of $6 USD. That being said, I tried to make mashed potatoes tonight for dinner and I ended up gagging and spitting them all over the wall of my kitchen, I was not impressed. I settled for some random beef ramen thing I found in the cupboard.