Saturday, August 7, 2010

First Day Searching

August 6th, 2010


In the sweltering afternoon well past three I finally stopped for an Iced Americano. In typical Korean fashion the baristas followed directions explicitly- my drink has two shots, ice and no water until the shots start to melt the cubes- the first sip was of an almost unadulterated shot, still somewhat warm. So much better than when I ordered the previous one at Sea-Tac Airport and despite my directions got a tall cup of coffee flavored water.

Since I left Sarah and 세진의 (Sejin’s) apartment this morning I’ve been to seven realtors all near 약수 (Yaksu) station. After walking around the neighborhood I am even more convinced I want to live there, but only one realtor could show me a place, four rooms only one of which had a window. Of course I passed on that hovel. My deposit is too small, that’s the problem. 5,000 down barely gets your foot in the door for half basements with mold. I sat in one realtor’s office while two realtors made over thirty phone calls, but they only had one place they could show me and since it shared a bathroom with a first floor business I passed on even seeing it.

Then I remembered I was walking around with cash and a cashier’s check equal to my entire budget until January, and tried to deposit in my account at one of Korea’s largest banks. But since I didn’t have my old foreigner ID card (of course, since you have to give it to the immigration officials at the airport if you leave without time on your visa to get back and renew the card with a new visa sponsor (workplace/graduate school etc)) they refused to deal with me. Idiots. It’s the Korean government system of temporary ID cards that’s the issue, and they should know it by now. They offered to open a new account with my passport (I didn’t bother to mention that would expire in another 7 years or so) then rescinded the offer when I disclosed I’d only arrived the previous night, claiming it takes a few days for the number to hit the system. So I had to go to 대구은행 (Daegu Bank) where I’ve had an account since 1996. It took them quite some time, but they exchanged and deposited my cash and put the cashier’s check into the system (it’ll take a few days to clear).

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