A Momentous Occasion
Yesterday (Aug 12) was a big deal. It was a big huge momentous exciting deal for many reasons.
- I could finally (almost) print
- I opened a bank account (no Internet banking yet)
- I got a phone (I feel really dirty about this one though)
- (*I also ate pizza a few days ago!)
Yes, it is true what they say. Living abroad means you do exciting things; noteworthy awesome things that make other people want to move abroad and also do exciting non-everyday-things that “over there” are everyday things…alas, this particular blog post is not about those.
Truth be told, the list above has been my “momentous occasion” this week. My anxiety over not being able to print is real. I’m an organizer. I thrive off of putting together colour-coded, filed and categorized documents, folders, you name it. I become flustered when I’m not able to keep things tidy. Growing up, Mom would have me file her receipts or organize the fridge or cantina because, somehow, I find it soothing, even enjoyable, to create order from chaos. I legitimately get excited sometimes, proud as a grade 1 showing off their scribbles which no one else thinks twice about. Thank goodness for oddball kids, eh!
Some might say I’m a little crazy (ie. my family and my lovely Irish friend and former colleague, Siobhán), but for me it allows for sanity. As much as I try to live being environmentally-friendly, I am loath to embrace the intangible world of book-less and paper-less living. How are kids of this generation going to understand the joys of a neatly organized binder with all those new-fangled iPads and thingamabobs they use? Yes, I am a granny. I refused to buy a Kindle before coming abroad on principle (more so stubbornness), but also because I love the smell and feel of books. You can buy English-language books in Korea, but my beloved paperbacks looked so sad and lonely in my packed up childhood.
**Sidenote: That was a much longer ramble-explanation than I’d intended. Moving on!…
Money in the Bank
So, banking. That was a fun experience – and I mean that genuinely. The bank is a short walk away from our school, which is great because we’re in a fairly remote part of the island. There’s an English room off to the side once you’re in the bank where two lone employees sit; one is a super friendly guy around our age, and the other is a quiet woman, maybe in her 50s. Privacy is non-existent because the “waiting area” is directly behind the chair at the teller’s desk. Good thing my bank accounts aren’t overflowing these days! Things get better. The bank is only open from 12-3pm, Monday to Friday. And I thought Ireland had tight banking hours!
As for paperwork, I think I signed 20 times, and even then some, because the teller made an error with my name so we had to register all over again. Did I mention that I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was signing for? All forms were in Korean, as to be expected, and I could have been purchasing a Jeju orange grove or supplying his bonus. Throughout the process I could hear my Dad on my shoulder saying, “Never sign anything without reading it through, understanding it all, and asking any questions you have”. So much for that, Pops!
There was a group of us girls who went to the bank together and we were brainstorming fun ideas for the weekend since we won’t have much free time together the rest of the year. We got talking about Soju and where to go out and started asking the teller for his expert opinion. He was more than happy to oblige…but I think that’s why my name ended up as “Ostrom Andrew James”. All worked out of course and everyone, including our new bank friend, laughed a lot in the process.
From Beloved BlackBerry to …the iPhone
Lastly, I got a new phone. Now, let me put it out there that I’m an avid supporter of our hometown’s BlackBerry. I’ve happily owned BlackBerrys ever since crossing over to the smart phone world. I am proud to tell people it started in my hometown and genuinely sing its praises. However, despite its durability (perfect for a spaz like me – I’ve never cracked a screen), precious keyboard, and Canadian face among the world’s tech crowd, the inability to access some apps has finally forced me to bite the proverbial apple. Personally, I don’t need many apps. We’re zoned into our devices and out of real life enough as it is. I don’t need more reasons to stare at a screen. Professionally, it’s a requirement that I have a phone which allows for the use of certain apps, and so it is for that reason that I have been thrown into the iPhone world. Dirty indeed.
This is a super long post so I’ll fill you in on my euphoria over finding pizza later. 🙂 Annnd a shout out to my brother, who celebrated his birthday. Love ya buddy!
…also, I didn’t have time to edit (huge personal pet peeve) but c’est la vie today. Thanks for reading!!!
Tags: Jeju, School, South Korea