links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
http://www.filefactory.com/file/c0b6c4f/n/metro_025_black_in_korea_2.mp3
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
http://www.zshare.net/audio/94134128ba8ecd63/
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
http://www.youtube.com/user/BSSKSEXIES
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=25747883752

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry xmas

from a rather infamous blog the metropolitician, who plugs another great blog feet man seoul:

This Christmas season, the must-have item is the bear hat, courtesy of Paris Baguette. And if you are a couple, a matching pair is the way to go. This couple is the quintessential Seoul Christmas couple, since they're not only rocking the hats, but have a Christmas cake in tow, as well as a little bit of candy, a lollipop that looks freshly picked from a Dr. Seuss Christmas tree. All items, it appears, that you can find in the original commercial.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

from sarah

click to enlarge and read this lovely letter from little sarah--->

hey, i've been working here in korea at cdi for near 9 months now. *phew!* i have my complaints about my job, as do we all, but overall im really happy there. i love the kids, and i like teaching. i love my apartment. i LOVE my apartment. like really, i love it. i may never leave.

it's coming to the end of my 3rd term and i'll say goodbye to my kids, and hello to a whole new group of classes. sometimes students will leave before the end of the term, which i really dont like b/c they seem to disappear one day and then i dont get a chance to tell them goodbye. :(

sometimes the student knows they're leaving, so i tell them how wonderful it was to have them in my class, and i tell them to watch lots of english movies, and read lots of english books, and tell them they're brilliant and good luck in the future and email me if you ever need anything. i don't tear up or cry, tho when sarah told me goodbye and gave me this note, i got real reeeeeeeal close.

Monday, October 01, 2007

happy choseok

little charlie from one of my elementary school classes said his mother told him to bring me these song-pyeong, rice cakes with some sort of sweet bean paste inside. they're common food fare for chuseok. i didnt eat them (they're similar to philipino desserts, and i never developed the taste for them) but i kept them forever, opening the refrigerator everyday and smiling and thinking that i must be some kind of fantastic teacher for a student to bring me treats. ha!


Saturday, August 04, 2007

paying bills back home

The only bill ive had to pay back home is my student loan. every month at payday, i go to the bank and transfer money to my account back home, then i pay everything online once the money is in the account. i have also done some online shopping w/amazon, using my home account as well (it's a atm/visa check card through my bank).

other bills i was able to transfer to other names/people, or cut off entirely; but if there were others, im sure i'd be able to do it all online just as i am w/the student loan.

my old apartment still has bills and my cats, but i send money to the roommates and they make sure everything is taken care of. we did it all online before, anyway, so it's all staying the same.

i think i've written this elsewhere, but here it is again:

  • before you leave for korea, go to your bank, tell them you're leaving the country so that they dont cut your account privileges.
  • check your billing adrs and contact number the bank has (i changed mine to my parents adrs & phone)
  • double check your account number, password, routing number.
  • get the bank full adrs, phone number, and email (i was able to email my korea adrs and phone number to my bank once i got here).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

summer work




if i had known about summer and winter jobs here, i might've used the opportunity to visit korea before making the big move here. these seasonal jobs all include free accomodations, paid airfare, and around 2000USD for one month of work. the quality of the job depends on the employer, of course. anyway, to all those in cyberworld who've let me know they're considering korea, maybe check out a summer gig.

check here for the eslcafe korea job board. i got this link by doing a google search for the phrase "summer camp," narrowing the search to pull only from the eslcafe korea job board.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

moving service

click this and this forum on eslcafe, or here on global village about how to move: There are moving services or you can get just a bongo truck guy. But unless you speak and read Korean really well you would probably need a korean to help you get one.

This guy speaks english.... seems about 40,000 to move most things:

When you need a truck , Please send below items ! I will reply the price asap !
  • name & cell phone ex) brandon : 010-7707-4280
  • from where to where ex) from habangchon to kangnam

  • how many stuffs ? ex) 1 couch, 1 washing machine, 1 computer desk, 5 suit cases, 10 paper boxes…… * from which floor to which floor ex) from 2th floor to first floor

  • old address & destination address ex) yongsan2gadong 391-12 & ilwondong 234-76 kmk20287@hotmail.com
update: i used the above guy, brandon, he was cool. spoke fluent english. i paid 50 to move a piece of exercise equipment from hanaam to pyeongchon.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

oh my gosh, if you go on google
and search "cdi seoul black"
my blog is the FIRST RESULT!
im famous!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

some africans are still enslaved and dont feel complete without a chain around their neck...

thanks to nisha for passing this on.

this doesnt have anything to do w/korea or esl... it is part of a 1999 documentary called 'Cry Freetown' .

ive noticed a couple of nigerian men here in korea (i notice ALL them, actually, handsome lot they are), and im saddened and enraged at the same time to see how they emulate this one part, this bane of african american culture: wearing the shiniest, gaudiest, bit of bling they can buy, adorning their fingers and necks and wrists and ears and teeth.

it's up to us, black people. we can make a choice. BE the change you want to see in the world. dont buy diamonds. dont glorify it. it's a stone, it's NOTHING. sisters, let's not reward our brothers for stepping on the backs of our own people to showcase their "success." brothers, be brave and turn away from the self deprecating display and quit showing off your necklace to the camera. as if it's supposed to mean something. only if we give it meaning.

i love rap music. i hate that the only rap music that is more known and mainstream is anything that cripples and distorts black culture. what are non black people to think when the only thing they see in the media is anything gangster, showcasing one's material goods, im so tough, i got guns, all women are hoes and tricks and bitches and i fuck them all (whatever, all this muscle flashing is ladden with homo erotic OVERtones anyway)... and then compile that with the few lost and brainwashed black folks they see on the street. no wonder. and it's fucking global! africans on the continent call themselves Niggaz!
ok... and now i leave you with the words of krs one:

Instead of broadcasting how we smoke them trees
On the radio we need to hear more local emcees
Where you at?, c'mon where you at?
This is the difference between emceein' and rap
Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal
Emcees spit rhymes to uplift their people

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

mental health/pills

good chunk of info on daves about mental health. i do not advise you tell anyone at your job about it if you do take meds. not that it's anything to be ashamed of, but you'll have enough questions/intrusions about you/your life without adding your mental health to it. if you can function w/out hurting/affecting others, then really, it's not anybody's business but yours.

Dr. Park's Psychiatric Clinic for Foreigners
Tel: 02-563-0609, 0678
email: mdoctor@korea.com
Exit 7, Seolleung Sta Line 2
http://www.psychotherapy.co.kr/

sometimes when you call, the woman who answers doesnt speak english, so just say "i'll call back" and then do so later, and get help from someone who speaks english. or just email with the day/time you want to come in. the doctor is korean, but speaks english.
===========================

update 03/09 these are emails from a davester about getting pills cheaper at mental health/stress clinics:
Just about any Korean mental health clinic should be cheaper. I have been to three others. One in Gwangmyeong, one in Yeoju, and one in Wonju. They were all cheaper.

They don't really like to give you a month's worth. They like you to come in every couple of weeks to monitor your progress. They usually adjust the medication pretty regularly. Obviously there are pluses and minuses to this, but it's worth the savings. Just find any mental health clinic near where you live. I'm sure you could find a bilingual to help you if the doctor doesn't speak English well enough to consult with you. It is less than 10,000 a week. 7,000 a week maybe? Again, I don't know how many other docs would be willing to give you a months supply, I don't think they do things that way here. You could go to the doc, tell them what you are taking and see if they would continue you on the same stuff, but they might want to put you on something else.
Koreans doctors I have been to have perscribed anti-depressants and anti-anxieties for me to take at the same time. They work nicely together, and for the first few days really left me feeling groovy. Going in every couple of weeks allows them to monitor your progress and adjust the meds/dosages accordingly.
I know from years of experience with different psychoactives that a body will build up a tolerance for the drug and need to be changed after some time.
When I came to Korea I had just gotten off of 2 years of taking Lexapro. I started taking meds again after I was here less than a year, went through a major life philosophy change, quit taking those meds in 2006, haven't felt the need for them again since. Last year I was taking some more SSRI's to help with my temper and anxiety and in turn help my marriage, but I haven't experienced the same kind of "want to run into oncoming traffic suicide" since my change of philosophy back in 2006.
Anyway, from a fellow human who has suffered a great deal of depression, good luck with your journey. If I can offer you any help/advice, just let me know.

Friday, April 20, 2007

how i got cable tv

if you need help getting cable or anything "living" related, contact global village.

update 07/2011:
a good number for getting cable tv:
KT has a customer service number for English speakers (in seoul). You can have them come on a saturday even. ah-sahh! 02-1588-8448
----------------------------------
i didnt have cable back home b/c it's so expensive and i was always so poor. we can add cable tv to my top ten reasons of why i came to korea.

i asked a coworker that lived in my building how he hooked up his cable and he tells me, "oh, i dont know, my girlfriend helped me." >:( that alone made my teeth clench b/c every question i ask of him is answered, "my girlfriend helped me." well damn, can you ask your girlfriend how she did it and pass the info onto me? you jerk! not really. he's the nicest guy, but i was annoyed.)

i asked the doorman in my building and he gave a phone number that was disconnected. i asked another coworker, who gave me another number, which was also disconnected. i asked a third coworker, who said i need to ask the landlord. i emailed human resources at my school who got my the apt to find out how to get in touch with my landlord & he told me i ought to talk to someone at the school..../

angry. not so much b/c people didnt know, but rather i was annoyed that it was something i couldnt do on my own. even if i did have the right phone number, i couldnt call it w/my english only fat ass. usually im really independent, i do things for myself, not have people do things for me. my ultimate goal is become as fluent as i can in korean, so that i can better take care of myself.

i hate asking for help, b/c often this is exactly what happens: you have to ask and ask until someone finally can help you; it makes me feel like a pest. having to lean on other people sucks. for one it means you have to wait on people to get back to you and for two i hate asking help from people i hardly know. thanks again to the coworker who helped me with the cell phone. i appreciate not only her taking the time to help me, but she also showed me HOW to keep up on the phone so that i can do it myself and not have to run to somebody for help all the damn time. *sigh* i'd have asked her for help, but she doesnt have a tv.

i REALLY hate asking the korean staff at my school for help b/c they're so overworked and underpaid and im sure have better things to do than to take care of the new foreigner. plus they speak little english and im embarrassed to try to communicate b/c i speak no korean.

hey, thanks for letting me rant, blogworld. anyway, i sucked it up and one of the korean staff at my school helped me. she was of course really sweet and kind and helped me out.

Friday, March 30, 2007

i never say, "koreans are..."

i was thinking about how a while back (maybe two weeks before i got here) i met a brotha online who teaches in china, and he told me to stay away from korea. he said he'd never come to korea b/c of the shitty way they treat black people in the states. i sympathize, but i dont agree.

i beg of you, brotha, this type of generalization/stereotyping is what keeps us down. you may have great opportunities here in korea, and you choose not to take them, but dont discourage others from doing so. "the black man isn't free in korea," he said. really now, are you any freer in america?

i mean really, if you are black and live in america and think you are free, you are under arrested development. if youve never been past two blocks of your own neighborhood, the neighborhood that you're systematically caged in btw, of course you'll feel safe and not want to go to korea.

i dont know where im going with this. i guess i was thinking about his advice and feeling glad that i didnt listen to him. he'd never even been to korea. he had some bad experiences with koreans back home, as have i and i empathize. but dont judge korea on that. i dont like it when people say, "koreans are..." or "koreans do..." if anything, maybe we can just use "in korea..." Word choice is so important. miscommunication and misunderstandings starts fights and wars. Just as i dont like it when people say, "Black people always..." Non blacks think that my people are like the rappers and gangsters they see on tv... the men have all been in jail and have tattoos and wear lots of bling. the women all have babies from different men, we're all gold diggers, etc. When really, how many black people do you KNOW? you can count them on one hand. and you dont really know them. even if you think you do.

this reminds me too of the argument non black have about use of the word nigger, saying "well they call each other that, so what's the big deal, it's hypocritical to get mad at us for using it!" no, fools. we dont ALL call each other that. turn off the tv. stupid BET.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

be mentally free

ive been thinking about how foreigners here complain about how awful koreans are, and blah blah blah. you mostly read them on forums. but that's the point of forums, a part of it anyway, so you can vent. but anyway, about this gripe that you arent free in korea...

yeah, you're not. it's not your country. big deal. it's my opinion that it's white people who have trouble dealing with this; having lived your life of privilege and being a part of the majority, it'll sting you more when you're not number one for the first time in your life. this is not your home. that's not a bad thing. it means that youre out of your comfort zone, try to grow from it. it means that you need to keep your foreigner status in mind, and respect the space. get used to it.

i dont have too much sympathy for these complainers. toughen up.

anyway, it occurred to me that the gripe about not feeling free is trivial to me, perhaps it is the same for other conscious black folks... i love my life here, and sure im stared at and such, but im no less free here than i was in the states. yeah, im black and stared at, ive been turned away at a couple of businesses, maybe b/c im black, maybe b/c i dont speak korean, maybe b/c the vendor didnt understand want i wanted/needed. these things dont break me. these experiences are not new. what is new is my tolerance for it. im a guest here. i respect the space. america is supposed to be my home. it's when these things happen there that i get angry.

this is not to say that black people are free here. certainly not. but ive pretty much stopped trying to explain to colleagues that i am not having a tough time here. they'll ask how i find korea and i say that things are great, then the conversation routinely leads to them telling me about how awful these close minded koreans are and apologizing for any stress i may be under while here. i dont need your sympathy, fools. im black, not weak willed or weak minded. dont get the two confused.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

if you have some money and need some help



LOOK AT THIS NEATO SERVICE!!! Help & Service Korea! i posted on daves looking for a cleaning person for my place as i've heard it can be quite affordable. i got a response about help&service and checked out the website, how friggin cool! house cleaning, babysitting, party assistant, and look at this for "special assistance provider:"

Special Assistance Provider
◇ Secures document/s from the Korean government office.
◇ Guides in shopping and touring Korea.
◇ Carries out children's school entrance formalities.
◇ Or do any tailor made service you would want to avail such as personal secretary, culinary expert, messenger, driver, etc whatever you want, Please let us know.

it didnt list the cost of this special service, but the housecleaning looked pretty fair. i will for sure come back to that website once i get paid. which will be in another month... *sigh*

update, i called this place and they dont service pyeongchon. but then i found this forum on daves, so i'll check that out and update later. thanks jdog! "Go to what the book, there's an ad for a pillipina who will not only clean but give you a manicure and pedicure.

============================
12/30/07 update: i got a housekeeper via a coworker. i friggin love her. honest to god, she makes living here so soooo easy. she comes once a week (email me for what i pay, i dont want to put all her stuff out there), and i come home to a sparkly clean toilet, shower, hell, the WHOLE bathroom; swept and mopped floors, empty sink w/no dishes, emptied trash, fresh laundry... she's a dream. her email is rainwater67@lycos.co.kr write her with where you live, what you want done, and what days/times are good for you. worth every penny, she's the bomb. i have no idea what her name is b/c she doesnt speak english (i guess she gets someone to translate the emails) i just call her a god send.

===========================

7/08 update: even better, click here for free help for foreigners.

Monday, March 12, 2007

enjoy while youre there.

i read about people wanting to go home after a few weeks/months. maybe they're not as travelled.

be ready. read up on korea as much as you can.

check the forums. lots of negative for sure, but try to find the positive, the tips for making life easier here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

pets in korea

i met a woman last night who arrived in korea three days ago. she said it was super easy to do. there's no quarantine for korea. she made sure she had all her paperwork showing the cat's current shots and such a full month before she left. she made sure the plane she was on would allow her cat to be in the cabin with her, and the disabled bathroom was big enough for her to take her cat out every so often and walk around. she bought some sort of puppy diaper thingy and used it to line the bottom of the pet carrier. the cat peed twice.

please think really hard before getting a pet while youre here. animals a big commitment; if you think you'll be able to stay with the animal for 10-15+ years, that you'll be home enough for the pet, that your home is BIG ENOUGH for a pet, and have the time to take it outdoors when necessary, then go for it. otherwise, please dont. there are so many "free pets" on the korea forums and that makes me sad. if you must, tho: http://www.lonelylifetime.com/adoptable-animals-korea/

update: there are cat & dog cafes where you can go hang out and play w/the animals. ive never been to one, but heard they're nice. info on a cat cafe here.


update april 2011: there is an fb group "Pet Sitting Network South Korea," here is the link:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10860558859
also a couple of cat fb groups
NABIYA CAT SHELTER
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18503143577
happy kitten cat shelter
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12198089252

Saturday, March 10, 2007

cell phone in korea

update 2011: call home for local rates, click here.
update 10/2008 i got a cell phone at global village, they have so much foreigner help, it's awesome. the office to get a cell phone is in seoul, off the blue line 4 City hall Station ext 10. they have plans specifically for foreigners. You'll need your arc card, passport, bank book (your bank must have your arc card info on file, not just your passport), and you have to buy one of their phones. the one i bought was 90,000 won. the company is LG. Plans can be as long as three months to X years, and different plans available depending on where youre calling (if you call abroad a lot, or just locally, etc).
=========================================

you can get a cell phone as soon as you arrive in korea by renting one at the airport. i really wish i had done that. anyway, a few days ago i got a cell phone with the help of a coworker. here, a cell phone or mobile phone is referred to as a "hand-phone."

i had the phone before i arrived; i bought it from a girl on the buy/sell/trade forum on daves.

my friend took me to itaewon to the guy that helped her with her phone, some korean man who spoke english. the phone i have is an LG phone, and i think would've been able to go to any LG to have the phone activated. but i went w/my friend b/c it's all she knew.
i dont have plan, only phone cards. i didnt pay a deposit... i think i DID pay a hook up fee, 20K won maybe? incoming calls are free. my coworker advised that if i make a call that im sure will be under a minute, then just dial the number straight. if it'll be longer than a minute, i should use my phone card. i forgot who wrote this, but below is information from a davester about cellphones here in korea.
  • you have to buy your phone. You do NOT return it when you leave (unless it is a loaner from your hakwon).
  • You CAN get a cellphone new or used in just about any shop but you may need a translator to help you.
  • You CAN get monthly service billing or a "CARD PHONE" that uses prepaid time.
  • IF you get a card phone (read prepaid time cell phone here) there is NO hookup fee and no deposit and no monthly fee. You simply buy the phone and buy time as you need it. Card phones are about 4x more expensive per minute of talk time than monthly ones.
  • If you get a phone from SK or KTF then you need your ARC, possibly your passport and a DEPOSIT of 200k-250k won PLUS the cost of the phone.
  • If you get a phone from LG you do NOT need to make a deposit. You DO need your ARC, PASSPORT, BANKBOOK that has been open for more than 3 months and the cost of the phone.
  • If you get a card phone there is NO CHARGE for the hookup fee. If you get a monthly plan there is a 55k won hookup fee.
  • If you want a phone shop that is willing to assist a foreigner then the shop at Yeongdongpo-gu office (Purple or Green line) subway stop (out exit 3, walk straight ahead, cross the first light and it is the right hand one of the 2 on the corner. Ask for InSook) can help you. She speaks English and is willing to assist a foreigner to get a phone. This is 2 stops away from the Seoul Immigration office.
===============================================
update 10/2008
here's my cell phone bill, in won and that month's convertion rate. my bill is steadily on the rise, b/c im on it a LOT.
DateWonDollars
09/0828,240$21.38
10/0837,420$28.33
11/0847,240$35.76
12/0859,030$44.69
01/09106,880$77.59
02/0955,000$38.99
03/0971,900$50.86
04/09i haveno idea
05/09where these
06/09billsare.
07/0925,300$20.35
08/0931,240$25.12



Friday, March 09, 2007

take a break

this aint got shit to do w/korea or esl, it's just that i hadnt seen any of chapelle season three before and i couldnt stop laughing. byaaaaahh!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

ARC- alien registration card

your arc card is your alien registration card. every foreign national staying in Korea for 91 days or more must register as a resident alien. my school sent me to the immigration office; i was to bring with me my passport, two passport sized photos, something from the school saying that i work for them, and 20K won, i think? i have no idea how much it cost... sorry, i meant to write this as soon as i did it, i cant hardly remember now. i do remember that we had to take a number and wait for nearly an hour, and we had to leave our passports there. we got them back over a week later. tip to everyone: change some money before you go. for an extra 5K won, you can ask them to deliver the card instead of having to go back down in person to pick it up. wish i'd asked for that. lesson learnt'. uhm, dont have much else to say about this. meh, you can read up more about it on daves.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

settling in

i need to buy... everything. ok, advice everyone: bring lots and lots of money with you. lots of it. my homeboy brought 3000USD with him when he went to japan and i thought that was so silly, but i understand now. i love my apt, but coming home is so dreary b/c there's nothing there. i sleep on a mat on the floor, and it's ok b/c i brought my favorite bedsheets from home, but *sigh* i have no money to buy anything until april mutha fucking 10th. sure wish i had a couch. tv. dishes. rice cooker. etc. **grumble** i just really really want to feel settled already.

i've found info about a second hand store in korea, have to check it out. also was given a link for point to point subway directions so i'll know how to get there. i check the buy/sell/trade on daves every so often, too.

and this website looks great, only 5000W delivery fee i think, but it's in hangul and i cant read nerfin. a few of my colleagues used this website (one got a queen size bed and frame for 80USD, another got a twin, matress only, for 60USD, think of it like maybe a craigslist) and they asked the korean staff at work to help them.

update 4/1/07: byaah! i didnt have to buy a thing! byyaaahhhh!!!

=======================================================

9/2007 another update: so im wanting to buy a futon. its hard getting things when you read-speak the language. but here are some websites that may help.

first, in english"

if you can read korean, or have a k-friend to help:
  • gmarket also has a link in upper right for "english shop". clothes, accessories, books, dvds.
  • http://global.gmarket.co.kr/ which is i think the same... sorry... im tired.
  • http://www.usedtown.co.kr/ couple of coworkers of mine bought their beds here, for under 100$.
  • http://tomatobed.com/ for your bed. but you do need a korean credit card. if you have a friend who can help you, you can ask them to buy the bed, and then reimburse them or trans money into their account or something.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

opening a bank account

i opened a bank account today. all you need to open a bank account is your passport. I wish i'd known, b/c i would've done it the first weekday i was here. i arrived on a saturday, and i think it was on monday or tuesday that I brought my passport to immigration to get my arc card (alien registration card). i didnt know it was a process that required leaving my passport there, so i was stuck with no passport for several days, unable to change any of my dollars to won. so again, be sure to change some money at the airport, guys!

my job suggested we use woori bank (cdi's official bank). my friend and i  went to a local branch in the area where we picked up our passports and arc cards. the bank teller spoke little english, but we worked it out. we just handed him our passports (with the arc cards in them) and a business card from our employer with the company adrs and phone number on it. we used the school number and adrs for our personal info on the account as well since we dont move into our officetels until next week, and we couldnt effectively communicate that we didnt have adresses and phone numbers of our own yet. anyways, he made xerox copies of everything and gave us bank books and atm cards.

with my job, they asked us to email them our bank account numbers along with the name on the account and they would deposit the reimbursement for our airfare. we'll be paid regularly via direct deposit on the 10th of each month. i imagine this is standard for most schools. just keep in mind the stuff about privacy, and you'll be set. er... if im NOT after a while, i'll be sure to update.

ok to recap; when you go to the bank, it would probably be easiest if you brought with you:
  • your passport
  • your arc card (tho u dont need to)
  • a business card from your employer, w/contact name, adrs, phone number, written in english and korean
  • your money to deposit
  • if you have a korean friend, maybe have them write a note for you to hand to the teller that says you want to open an account. at the bank my friend and i went to, we said the phrases "new account" "savings account" "new account" and he finally got it.
=================================
05/23/07
a little update, i opened a second bank account yesterday. There is no woori bank by my place that i know of, but there is a shihan bank on the next block as well as atms throughout my neighborhood and across the street from my job.

the bank teller spoke a lot of english, so he made it all pretty easy. i gave him my passport, my arc card, my adrs, my phone number, the school's (my job) phone number, and a wad of money to deposit.
now i can transfer money from the woori account to the shihan account from any atm machine. this is the same when you pay bills; youre given an account number and then from any atm machine, you can transfer money from your account to the account of whoever or whatever youre paying. easily done in english, b/c you can just press "english" at the start of the transaction.

sending money home

i sent money home for the first time this week! i sent this to my account i have back in daygo. should the procedure change any when i send money to my dad and my husband in future months, i'll update.
the teller spoke english very well, so he made it very easy. i did this at shihan bank, where i have an account. i gave them the name of my bank home bank, as well as my back home phone number, and adrs, (i changed my at-bank info to my parents adrs & #). Also he wanted the at-home info for the bank: adrs, number, etc. so, to make this easiest, i suggest that before you leave home:
  • go to your bank and let them know you'll be out of the country.
  • ask them about their procedures and fees to have money transferred from abroad.
  • get a business card with the bank info on it
  • double check your account number and bank routing/transit number
  • make sure the bank has your proper mailing adrs & number (ie, i changed mine to my parents in case any problems arise).
================================================
this entry in process

to send money home: some people send money orders home, or just straight send signed travelers cheques home... i dont suggest the latter... while still back home, i asked my bank about wiring money to my account from abroad. check to see if your bank charges a fee or percentage, and get their full address and phone number, your bank account number, and perhaps the routing number on your check, too. i ended up using an account i have back home that has my and my fathers name on it. i have my bank here in korea wire the money, then i can pay all my bills online like usual (student loan, credit card, whathaveyou), and my dad can have access to the money if something comes up. i wire XXX won at a time, b/c the fees are all the same... less when you send more... i periodically send a money order to my roommate back home to take care of my cats. they can only eat science diet.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

where to live

in process...

your job will probably give you a free furnished place to live.
i work for cdi, so we have to pay for our own housing.
i just used the realtor through my job to find a place, it was easiest.

suggestion: take pictures of your place as soon as you move in, and perhaps send copies to the landlord. this poor guy pulled a runner after one month in this dump.

websites to find a place:
http://nearsubway.com/
http://oneroom.com/

womens-only goshiwons that are in hip, but also accessible areas of the city. This one is just up from Exit 1 of Gangnam Station. Rooms are 2 pyeong and cost about 200,000/mnth. Usual amenities. Bed, TV, desk in the room, as well as internet access. Shared washrooms, laundry and kitchen. http://home.gosi1.net/map.htm?no=4658 The next one is in the middle of Apgujeong, just south of Galleria Dept Store. Same amenities as above. Right near McDonald's, Popeye's, Bigger Burger, King Taco, and other fattening places. 1.5 pyeong rooms, ranging from 280-350,000/mnth. (The more expensive ones usually mean that you have a window.) http://home.gosi1.net/map.htm?no=447 a look inside a goshiwan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JAxq--kn3I

Sunday, February 18, 2007

keep these in your wallet.


thank you to davester dogshed for the advice of
what to keep in your wallet at all times:
  • a business card from your school, written in english and hangul, with a phone number on it.

  • a card from the hotel you're staying in. many cab drivers dont go by street adrssess, but rather landmarks & such. there's usually a little map or something on the card from the hotel, or at least the hotel phone number so that they can call and find out how to get there.

  • if you already have a place to live, keep THAT adrs w/landmarks written both in english and hangul.

  • plenty of money. maybe you'll get super duper lost; with money you can say F* it and take a cab home.

  • spare set of apartment keys, maybe pinned in your coat pocket.

  • more info here and here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

in search of

excluding all the military related and esl teacher groups (b/c there are many to be found online) interesting groups i've found for expats and other non korean seoul-ites thus far:

still looking for something for black people. what are some names for a group i'd start? deeper shade of seoul? seoul sistas & brothas? black seoul? the closest i've found thus far is a yahoo group Black In Korea, which sounds great, but it looks dead; no new messages or posts that arent spam.

Friday, February 16, 2007

black expats in seoul


i did a google search "black expats in seoul," and went through 10 pages until i gave up for now, but hey check it, my blog comes up in the search results on pages 2 & 3! :) i'll try the search again later. sister jane let me know that the most foreigners are in itewon, so perhaps the odds of finding my folks are better there, but that many are military. brothas in the service... hmmm... well, i'll leave that alone. maybe i'll try to start a social circle or group for brothas & sistas abroad.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

my medical exam

my job required a medical exam as part of employment, i think that all schools do. i actually got an email from X at cdi about a week before i was to arrive reminding me of the exam and cautioning me to not celebrate too hard before i arrive b/c the exam includes a drug test :)

the medical center was fairly easy to find; the subway here is excellent. so long as you know what exit # to get out of, you're straight. i say this even tho i have gotten hopelessly lost myself many, many a time already.

that exam was thorough! they did an eye exam, x-ray, took my blood pressure, a urine sample, measured my height and weight, did a drug test, and took blood samples. i think there was more, i dont remember, i did it a couple days ago. it didnt cost anything, i guess the school paid for it.
drink lots and lots of water a couple days before you get your exam. that way by the time you go in and give your urine sample, your pee will look all pretty and clear in the cup. dark smelly pee is gross. just my 2 cents.


i'd suggest getting an exam before you come too and do an hiv/aids test, just in case. actually, get tested for all stds; i'd read on eslcafe about some guy who got fired b/c he was hiv positive... or not as devastating but just as humiliating: what if you had like chlamydia or something? could've had that taken care of and all cleard up back home first! regardless, you must have an exam here in korea; i dont know of any place that would accept proof of a medical exam from home.


they didnt do what's in this picture, btw. i was paranoid that they'd ask me to undress or do a breast exam or something, and was all ready for a fight if they did; fortunately they didnt. a former teacher of mine from college is filipino, she's not even 50 i think, and she told me about how when she was in elementary school, the staff had her undress in the nurses office to make sure she was human b/c they'd never seen a filipino person before. oh my friend emmalyne, i think of you to this day. i hope youre well.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

dammit

on the desk to the left of the monitor of the computer in my hotel room were two full sheets of paper and one little scrap of paper, each crowded with messy scribbles on both sides of each sheet. i was compling a list of topics i had planned on blogging about one day, details on "lists" of reasons i think i'll be sucessful here in korea.

i've been scribbling notes since before i got here, thinking that a few months from now, i'll have them to refer to and see if they held true and then write about why each works. it wouldve been great, it would've been like a whole series of posts about b/c of how i think and feel and am, from the littlest details, is why i'm happy here. each post would've been titled things like, "Im Glad I Am" and "Im Glad I Brought" and "Im Glad I Know How To..."

...like im glad i can do and like a bucket bath b/c the showers here are often just a loose shower head that's not attached to the wall. i'm glad i can and have no problem with hand washing clothes in the sink so that i can have clean clothes everyday and not sit around whining that i dont know where the laundry mat is and wouldnt be able to work the machine anyway b/c its in korean. like if i cant communicate with someone here, i dont get in a huff about no one speaking english despite all the english language schools everywhere, instead i know that im in korea and ought to learn to read and write korean. like i konw that if no one emails me or reads this website, it's not that no one is thinking about me, it's that people are busy and have thier own lives, and i am going to go out and enjoy my own. like i'll be sucessful and happy here at cdi b/c i came for the job and not the money... you get the gist. i would've fine tuned it all and wrote it out and it would've been great.

you'll notice that im using the past tense in referring to all my brilliant notes. this is b/c the guy that cleans the room threw my scraps out with the trash yesterday. son of a b.... >:(

well, this is a good opportunity for self reflection. how cool do i think i am if i trip over a little thing like a guy just trying to do his job... if my notes were so important to me, i shouldve kept them in my folder or my bag, and not laid out in a space that's not mine to begin with. *sigh*

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

my recruiters emailed me

my recruiters emailed me to check on me when i got here. i thought it was really nice.
=================
From: jasonn@cdimail.net
To:
Subject: CDI
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 18:04:09 +0900
Dear,

I wanted to just shoot you a quick mail and see how you were doing. I hope that things are going well and that you are enjoying your first week in Korea. Best of luck and let me know if you have any further questions. Regards, Jason Nieuwoudt
=================
On 2/13/07
Hi Jason, thank you for your email! I am insanely happy with CDI so far. Everything: the staff, the curriculum, the professionalism, all of it has exceeded my expectations. Everyone has been so nice and helpful. It's only day two of training but I feel like I've already learned a lot in how to improve my teaching. I am really excited to get into the classroom. Outside of the school, I am really liking Seoul in general. I'm really glad I'm here, and I'm so glad I'm with CDI. Thanks again!
==================
Sent:Tue 2/13/07 10:47 AM
To:
Dear
I am also happy that you seem happy.
I believe you are doing well.
Let's keep in touch..
Thanks and kind regards,

Cindy
011 311 8242

double stuff... *tsk* im so immature.

hello blogworld! i have started a second blog, it's pretty much just the emails i've been sending to my parents. find it here. funny for those that know me that i write home so frequently, but my momma was so sad when i left:
"Peaches," she said, "Always wear your slippers in the house, anako." and "dont forget to put lotion on your elbows... (sob) ... and always respect your elders (cries)." aww... love ya, momma!
this here blog i'd like to serve as a useful read for the beginner checking out esl as it explains the process i went through before and shortly after i got here. i'll continue for a few more supa dupa fly posts with the more useful "how to" things: how i'll get my cell phone, how i'll find an apartment, etc. Once routine settles in, maybe we'll call this one quits. as a side note, there is such a wonderful selection of dark chocolates at all the convenience stores here. i may never leave.

Monday, February 12, 2007

tips for your flight

most important thing: change some cash at the airport. do it. dont be picky about the exchange rate, just do it. i arrived in seoul on saturday night along with a group of 5 or so, and some of my collegues were stuck with NO money, b/c the banks were closed on sunday.

 i flew from san diego to san francisco, then to tokyo, then seoul. uhm, i think the flight from san fran to seoul was about 9 hours? tokyo to seoul was around 2. my flight was at 7am or so daygo time, i was at the airport around 5am. i was tempted to try and check in late, in hopes of being bumped up to business class, but i'd have felt like a foolio if i dicked around and missed my flight altogether. i had everything packed in one carry on, and two large suitcases on rollers. i slept for the majority of every flight b/c i was hella tired. when i arrived at the airport in seoul, every sign is in korean and english, so i found my way around ok.

when i had to take the bus to coex per cdi's instructions, a couple of koreans came up to help me find the right bus stop and buy my ticket. i think one worked at the airport. they spoke little english, but were as sweet as pie to me. man, my writing is so boring right now. i'll re-write this passage later. anways, what i learned:
  • wear comfortable clothes in layers. if you want to dress business casual in case youre meeting your boss at the airport or something, be sure they're clothes youre comfortable in. i didnt bother b/c i was due to arrive in seoul after 9pm and had to find my own way to the hotel, not meeting any cdi people til the next day.

  • wear roomy, easily removeable shoes. for US airports, the security check is thorough and my shoes had to come off i think 3 times.

  • to add to that, try not to wear any big bracelets or belt buckles; anything that may set the metal detector off. your jacket has to come off, so wear a clean shirt... and not one with holes in it... like i did.

  • also wear matching socks... b/c i wasnt. ha! hey, we are laid back folks in southern cali, fo real! well nobody seemed to care about my silly socks, but still.

  • make sure you have a luggage tag on each of your bags, including your carry ons. maybe just a name, and add a very visible card inside with a home and overseas adrs & phone number. if you dont have an overseas adrs yet, use the school's.

  • check with your airport about luggage weight. it was 50 lbs for mine. i had one case at 43 and the other at 52, the lady was hella cool about it & didnt make me repack.

  • im glad i had those suitcases on rollers, b/c i had to get around by myself here and there and it made the bags much easier to deal with. doesnt seem like a biggie, i know, but having travelled before, nothing sucks your mood more than the little things like having to lug all kinds of stuff, no wheels, shoulders acheing fm the weight of your bags, while you're trying to figure out where you are and where to go.

  • along the same lines of the last bullet, try to keep your carry on small as possible. pack clean underwear, sample sizes of toiletries, and your paperwork. this way, if your luggage gets lost, you'll be ok.

  • the US airport wont allow any liquids/gels over 4 ounces in your carry on. really, only four ounces. you cant even bring your water bottle, unopened or anything. i had to eat my yogurt before going through b/c it was 6 ounces. try to pack your liquids in the suitcase instead.

  • liquids you do have (perfume, toothpaste, body wash, EVERYTHING) has to be in a ziplock baggie.

  • have some cash (hundred dollar bills) and change some money at the airport. i arrived in seoul on saturday night along with a group of 5 or so, and some of my collegues were stuck with NO money, b/c the banks were closed on sunday.

  • double check that you dont have any other prohibited items in your carry on. i had a lighter (for my eyeliner) and a pair of nail scissors, and the file on my nail clippers, all had to be dumped.

  • see about renting a cell phone at the airport in seoul. you cant buy a phone until you get your arc card, and the airport here has a booth to rent phones, open 24/7. you need your passport and put like 200USD down, or something. this info was in my cdi packet, but i done left the airport before i stopped to think about it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

finally here!



hello blogworld! im now in seoul. not much to say just yet, training starts monday morning, looking forward to it. i've blogged a lot about me trying to EAT here, you can read about it at http://sha-diggity.blogspot.com. when i have the time and patience, i'll write up proper about my flight, etc, but im still so ancy.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

CDI Orientation Schedule

Subject: CDI Orientation Schedule
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 16:24:54 +0900
Dear,

Congratulations, I am pleased to inform you that you are moving on to the training and evaluation phase of the application process. Our dedicated, professional recruiting officers and managers have taken great care in placing you in a suitable academic program to best utilize your skills and talents in our CDI classrooms.

If you have inquiries regarding your training placement, please contact the recruiting center (cdihr@cdimail.net) for consultation. Also, please take careful note of the following:

Date: February 12th (Monday)
Time: 10:00am – 1:45pm
Location: KTF Tower Bldg. 16F, Training Room

The training will be from February 12th (Monday) to February 17th (Saturday), and it will take 5 hours per each day (except February 12th (Monday) – the Orientation is 3 hours and 45 minutes), 2.5 hours per each program training. Please refer to the training schedule attached to this email.

Please be sure to be on time – at least 15 minutes early and at the proper location. You can find attached directions to the training location.

In addition, please be advised that the results of your training evaluation will determine whether or not you will be offered employment at one of the CDI locations. (87% candidate pass ratio) Accordingly your best performance is expected during the training sessions. Business casual attire is advisable. A notebook and a writing utensil are also highly advisable.

Please do not hesitate to contact the training center with any questions, and please reply to this email for your confirmation.

I wish you the best of luck with your training and the remainder of the application process.

Best regards,

KTF Bldg. 16th Floor, 890-20 Daechi 4(sa)-dong, Gangnam-gu
Seoul, Korea135-839
Tel: 02-3429-9565
Fax: 02-3429-9589
http://job.cdi.co.kr

i passed the grammar test the 1st time, suckas!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

what do i do from the airport?

From: jasonn@cdimail.net
Subject: FW: Visa Codes
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 17:58:00 +0900

Hi S, Please find below your visa code. You need to take this number with your passport and a visa application form (attached) to the nearest Korean Embassy or consulate.

Regards, Jason Nieuwoudt
ManagerRecruiting Center
=================

Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 4:40 PM
To: Jason Nieuwoudt; CindyPark (recruiters)
Subject: RE: Visa Codes

Hi Jason, I got my visa this afternoon and I'm all set. I do have one concern, though; my flight arrives in Seoul at 9:40pm on Saturday February 10. The packet you've emailed me says I'm to take a bus to COEX, but it also states that the last bus is at 10:30pm. Will I make this bus? I will cc this email to Cindy, the recruiter, for assistance as well. Thank you.
=================

Dear Shannon
I am glad to hear that you got your visa today.
As you said, everything seems ok.

I've talked to Jason about your concern.
He will contact you and solve it, I believe..

Feel free contact me if you have any questions, please.

Thanks and kind regards,

Cindy
===============

Hi Shannon,

Drew, one of the senior managers in my department, will be emailing you will instructions shortly.

Regards,
Jason

from cdi

S, M, J, and L:

The four of you will all be arriving on United flight 883 this Saturday at 9:40 pm. I am providing all of your email addresses so that you can exchange pictures and try to find a place to meet before/after the flight.

I am attaching the Welcome Packet to ensure that all of you have received it. Please print this packet, and bring it with you in your carry-on.

After you arrive at Incheon International Airport, go through immigration and customs, and collect your baggage, please call me on my cellular phone. My number is 010-7148-5526.

Since you are arriving late, there is a fair possibility that you’re going to miss the last bus to City Air Terminal. However, if you split a cab, it won’t be that much. The last bus runs at 10:30.

I will meet you at City Air Terminal and escort you to your hotel, which is located about 2 or 3 blocks behind our Headquarters building.

Your training schedule will be coming later this week, most likely late Friday. Training will be starting early Monday morning, so be sure to rest well on Sunday. After training, you will go to the immigration office with a representative of CDI to pick up your ID card. Also, in addition to training on Tuesday, remember that there will be a medical exam and drug test that all instructors must be able to pass.

If you have any questions, you can either contact me, or the other Hiring Manager that you’ve already been dealing with.

I hope that everyone is feeling excited about coming in a few short days, we’re definitely excited that you are.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

seoulitary confinement

another great example of korea's cultural illiteracy. read about it at: seoulitary confinement I think this blog of mine will end a little after i get to korea. i've mostly written about what ive been going through during my job search; and after i arrive, i'd like to post about getting an arc card, getting my cell phone, exchanging money for the first time, finding my own place to live, etc. But after that, i think i will start a new blog, about the Seoul Sister living in korea. im sure i will see many examples of korea's cultural illiteracy... and i'm sure i'll have a lot to say about it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

how i got my visa

your visa is a sticker that's IN your passport. you can get it via the mail (be sure you've got plenty of time for it to be mailed back to you) or if you live close enough and can make the trip, you can get it in person from the consulate of the country your visiting.

you can get a visa number yourself, like a vistor visa. if you'll already have a job when you get to korea, the visa will be an E-2 visa issued by your school. the visa will state your length of stay and who your employer is. this means that your employer is the only one you can work for.

if you plan on travelling (like to japan for a weekend or something), perhaps ask your school for assistance b/c then you will need a multiple entry visa. i dont think the procedure is much different but the cost is much more. with out this type of visa, you are not to leave the country.

my job emailed me my visa number and i drove to the korean consulate in los angeles to get the visa. i filled out some paperwork and gave them two passport sized photos. The visa was ready to pick up the following business day.

i had more to write before b/c i had a nice little drive to LA, but now im bored. so anyway this is all the basic info here. ok bye.

Monday, January 29, 2007

reminder email

Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 16:37:58 +090
Hi S,

I just wanted to remind you that you will need to undergo a mandatory medical exam and drugs screening during your training. I recommend that new instructors who will be coming to teach be very careful about doing any last minute partying because if the results are positive we will not be able to offer the position.

I also recommend that instructors do a basic medical check before coming over as well, just to make sure that their bill of health is clean. I also recommend doing an HIV/Aids test as this will also be tested for during the training.

I am sorry to write such a bleak sounding email but rather safe than sorry as I am sure you will agree.

Kindest Regards,
=====================
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 10:51 PM

Hi, no apologies necessary, thank you for the heads up. I'm awaiting that packet in the mail you mentioned will all kinds of info in it, it'll be here soon I hope. Thank you!
=====================
Dear S,

Please find attached the Welcome Pack. We always send these by email so it’s a good idea to just print it out from your side and keep it with you. I wonder how everything is going your side with preparation. I will of course be in touch. S, please ask me should you have any further questions.
Kindest Regards,

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 1:15 PM
To: jasonn@cdimail.net
Subject: question

Hi Jason. Thank you for your last email, I'll be awaiting the visa in the mail. I was wondering, since I have opted for hourly pay instead of salary, I understand that I will have to find my own accommodations. I remember you mentioned possible options are taking over an apartment of someone who is leaving Korea, or using the agent that CDI has. But will CDI assist me with a place to stay when i initially arrive? Or shall I be searching and arrange for something on my own? Thank you.
===============
Dear,

CDI will provide accommodation for the length of the training. During this time you will have an opportunity to go out with the director to look for places that will suit you. We will provide every assistance in finding a place, there is really no need to worry. The only thing that you will be responsible for will be for the realtor fees which are usually around 250,000 KRW depending on your location choice.

I will be sending out the welcome pack before you arrive with a lot of useful info. I also plan on giving you call before you arrive just to touch base and make sure you are OK.

Regards,
Jason

Saturday, January 27, 2007

i want to be a consumer!

things i'll do/buy & places i'll shop when i have disposable income:
  • pay back my dad the million dollars i've borrowed from him over the years.
  • pay off the student loans.
  • flow-follow love of words. i like a couple of these t-shirts.
  • indigo arts beautiful cloth & barber shop signs.
  • fahari- if they ever get new stuff.
  • get weekly manicures
  • pinoymall- reprazent!
  • more pride: black lava, kailani, fili-islander, flipgear, my barong, tsinilas, archipelago-inc, bomba star, culturallycool,
  • monthly facials
  • donate to iabolish.
  • more clothes
  • i love these grammar t-shirts.
  • carol's daughter. all natural black hair care products, and black owned! ujamaa!
  • donate to children of uganda
  • i bought shirts here, and gave them away when i moved to korea. so i want to buy them again. i didnt even know there were black women pilots.
  • take drum lessons. and maybe piano lessons, too.

korea internet shopping:

Friday, January 26, 2007

Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 13:46:49 +0900
From: goodenglish1st@gmail.com
Subject: I hope you are doing well

Dear S
I hope you are doing well.

When you get an ID number from the immigration, you should appy for an E2 visa at the Korean Consulate with your passport, a passport size photo, an application form and the ID number. And then you will get the working visa.

Please let me know your departure date to Korea , the name of the airport you will use and your full name on the passport.

The travel agent will help you to find a good flight ticket.

I hope to hear from you.

Thanks and kind regards,

Cindy
====================
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007
Hello Cindy, thank you for your email.

I'm doing great, thank you for asking. I have my passport size photos ready and now I'm just awaiting the information for the visa the mail from Jason from CDI. He has been really great about letting me know what to do and what to expect. The full name on my passport is... My departure date is February 9th, flying out of San Diego, California. The airline is United. I have already bought my ticket. I shall forward the itinerary to you. Thank you again so much for helping me find this job, I am very VERY excited to get to Korea and start teaching, and it's all thanks to you. :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

leaving in february

From: jasonn@cdimail.net
Subject: Update
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 18:03:55 +0900

How are you? I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to check something with you about your arrival date. We have just confirmed the dates for the Lunar New Year holidays in Korea and unfortunately they begin on the Saturday after you arrive. In this regard we are asking all candidates who are flying out around that time to push forward their arrival dates, if possible, to the previous week either Friday (9/2) or Saturday (10/2)? So basically one week earlier. Please let me know if this is possible with your ticket. If not, please don't worry. We will sort something out! Kindest Regards, Jason Nieuwoudt
==================
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 7:53 AM
To: Jason Nieuwoudt
Subject: RE: Update

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I can change the ticket, I'll work on it and email you tomorrow.
==================
Subject: RE: Update
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2007 10:17:01 +0900

Hi S, I really am sorry to bother you with this. Remember that if it's not possible, it's not the end of the world either. Hope to hear from you soon. Regards, Jason
==================
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 4:39 AM
To: Jason Nieuwoudt
Subject: RE: Update

Hi Jason. You're so very polite, I wonder if your English. :) I checked my flight, I could change it but the fees would be a little over $200. I feel tacky asking, but would CDI reimburse me that amount? If so, I'll work on changing the ticket straight away. Thanks!
=================
Subject: RE: Update
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 18:50:35 +0900
Hi S,

So sorry for taking so long to return your mail but I was off sick with food poisoning (along with not having any sleep for the last week as a result of the birth of my daughter) and am only back at the office today.

I have cleared this with the director and we are prepared to pay for the change as long as your visa is processed prior to your arrival. How is everything going in this regard?

PS. I am (proudly) South African ;)
Jason Nieuwoudt
=====================
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 1:42 AM
To: Jason Nieuwoudt
Subject: RE: Update

Oh, congratulations, Dad! Actually, with your (very charming) accent, I pegged you for either New Zealand or South Africa. I'll call to see what's taking my passport so long, and I will work on changing my ticket today, and I will email you with confirmation as soon as it's done. Thank you, Jason!
===================
Sent:Tue 1/09/07 12:59 AM
Thanks so much for the email and thanks for the congratulations. Let me know what they say about the passport.

Regards,
Jason

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

be very very prepared.

below is some correspondence i've had via myspace with a brotha in korea now. wow, lesson to all: be prepared! come to korea with extra passport photos, extra official transcripts, extra copies of your degree, and MONEY. again, im so glad i was turned down by japan. all this time i've been checking up on korea and ive read stories like this guy's over and over again. :(

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Title
: CALI IM COMING HOME
Date: Jan 8 2007 03:05
yup thats right. i fiyah burned my director and quit this gig over here. i feel like i dont get the respect due from my director. its alittle too much like im his "slave", for lack of a better word. Cali im coming home. they dont know how to treat a Rastaman over here in South Korea.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
Date: Jan 8 2007 11:20 PM
just like that? did you consider checking out another school? how long have you been in korea?

----------------- Original Message -----------------
Date: Jan 8 2007 23:55
2 weeks. i am looking into other schools but all the paper work thats needs to be done means i need to go to japan then come back, plus more transcripts, another diploma, and other hoops to jump through. i seriously advise you to very careful when coming here. they will try to rip you off and work you like you have never thought possible. i have to be here by 8:30 and dont leave till 8:30pm. when i get home i have to finish work til about midnight. its tough to find room to eat.
this is not always the case. i have met many who work about 3hrs a day and still get 2mil won. so it depends. i was mislead and lied to before i came. i hope you arent.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
Date: Jan 9 2007 09:20 AM
ah brotha, im so sorry. i will for sure keep your advice/experience in mind. i've been reading up on esl in korea for quite some time. i am fairly confident that the school i chose is reputable, but when i arrive, i will do so with extra transcripts, diplomas, and money to last until ii find another school and they pay for the visa run, if the situation arrives.

im sad that youre leaving korea! have you any friends there just yet, to stay with until you check out other schools? you could stay in one of those love hotels or a Goshiwon or a yoinsuk? all whilst awaiting someone to mail you copies of your paperwork to start a new job?

i'll be arriving on february 10th. it would've been nice to have met you.

Monday, January 08, 2007

leaving february 9th

the school has emailed and asked that i come early, something about lunar new year? anyway, they agreed to pay for the change on my ticket, so im now leaving on february 9th. im in a poo mood right now b/c im at work and i hate it here.