Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mok-dong: without a hitch

Renewed my alien registration card today, so I'm good for another year. It appears I can keep the same visa, but if I plan to leave the country, I have to get the dreaded multiple reentry permit. You'll recall that I was worried, late last year, about whether I'd be able to get back into Korea with the visa I had, as I had not taken the time to acquire a multiple reentry permit. Everything turned out fine, because we discovered that my visa already had an "M" for "multiple" printed on it. This time around, though, I'll have to pay the piper. Won't do that for another month or so, though.

The processing today took only about fifteen or twenty minutes, which is unbelievably fast for a normally sluggish bureaucracy. The Seoul Immigration Office's front entrance was being picketed by a group of anti-Chinese people speaking out on behalf of Falun Gong. I'd seen the same group in Kangnam before; they showcase lurid pictures of abuse by what I imagine are the Chinese authorities; some pictures are quite graphic.

Once inside the building, I grabbed the proper form, took some photos in the downstairs area (turns out I didn't need them, but that's fine-- I can scan them and use them for your entertainment later), bought the requisite W30,000 stamp for a residence extension, went back upstairs to the first floor, punched the little take-a-ticket thingie, got my ticket-- Number 101-- and then waited.

For about five seconds.

It was incredible: Number 101 flashed on one of the overhead call number screens, and I was out of my seat even before my enormous ass had had a chance to begin warming it. The girl who handled my paperwork annoyed me by constantly going "Eh?" as if I were speaking gibberish instead of Korean. My Korean's in dire need of improvement, but it's not totally incomprehensible, dammit. Aside from that, she was polite enough, and I was processed very quickly. My alien registration card now sports a little stamp on the back of it. Later in the afternoon, my supervisor told me that that stamp has a tendency to rub off, so I'd need to be careful.

The highlight of my few minutes at Immigration today came when I saw an old nemesis of mine-- the asshole functionary who gave me shit over ten years ago when I applied for a visa extension to be able to stay in country. I'd been hoping to continue my court case against my micropenis of a hagwon boss, and this fuckwad refused to grant the extension. His face was unmistakable: it had "anus" written all over it. When I last saw him, he had a huge mole on one cheek. Today, I was astonished to see that he'd earned enough money to have gotten it removed. Didn't make him look any friendlier. I'm sure he recognized me, because we went round and round in 1995.

Aside from seeing Anus-face, everything went fine. No new, stress-induced facial tics to report. We're done for now; I'll get the multiple reentry permit next month, when I have more money.

Am stuck in the office right now, working on some projects, and regret that I'm unable to join a group of bloggers who are meeting this evening-- Andy Jackson (Flying Yangban), Joshua (Korea Liberator), Robert Koehler (The Marmot's Hole), and others. Gentlemen (and whatever ladies are in attendance)-- I salute you. Hoist an extra point for me, even though I don't drink.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a foul gathering of Republicans...what evil schemes of Neocon devilry will they hatch? A preemptive strike on North Korea? A US army base on Dokdo? Tax cuts for the Chaebol?

Wake up Korea! Can't you see these wolves in sheep's clothing (or hanboks, in Robert's case) for what they are?