links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


i've read a lot on eslcafe about overall lack of privacy in korea. im only familiar with this from my trips to west africa. you could go to the market in the morning, and by lunch, the waiter who you've met maybe once says to you, "Oh, i heard you've visited our market this morning!" it's not malicious, but rather it's small town stuff and foreigners are so easy to spot and track. so, some tips on privacy. this will of course be updated as i experience things myself.
  • if the school gave you living quarters, they probably have an extra set of keys. not much you can do i suppose, but if you have a keypad type lock, change the code and keep it to yourself. keep your door locked when youre at home. it's korean habit to just enter a home without bothering to knock, or knock after entering.
  • consider having an additional bank account. the school opens an account for you and you'll be paid via direct deposit. keep this account for this and local bill paying only. use a second account at a different bank to store your savings or wiring money. i've read accounts of visiting the bank in the morning, and in the afternoon, you'll see an email or your boss will ask you why you sent so much money home that day. again, not for malicious reason, but just wanting to know.
  • if you teach private esl lessons on the side, keep that cash at home. unless you have an F2, F4, or F5 visa, it is illegal to work outside of your school. ive heard that this is how immigration will see youre doing this, by seeing all that extra money in your bank account that came out of nowhere.
  • careful of the web pages you may browse at work. dont look at porn or the like whilst on the clock. maybe dont check your email or eslcafe or any page where you register; if you forget to log out, the next Joe Schmo may hop on and browse through all your business. do your web surfing at home, or at the local pc bang.
  • always be nice. you may not know that person smiling or waving at you, and it does get tiresome being this american celebrity, but that doesnt mean it's ok to be an ass. make a little conversation, be friendly, and apologize profusely for having to jet off so soon.

1 comment:

i_teach_esl said...

this is from an email from a friend of mine, about the banks:
"the banks can be weird here. Especially if they are close to your workplace. The bank behind my uni CALLED MY SCHOOL's ACCOUTING DEPT. to tell them I was wiring home 8,000,000 won this summer! They did it right in front of me, as if they didn't trust what I was doing! That was Woori bank. I was absolutely livid."