Tuesday, February 17, 2015

23 minutes

The cab ride to the Goyang immigration office was quick; rush-hour traffic this far north of Seoul apparently isn't that bad. As I'd hoped, there were only three or four other customers in the room when I plucked my numbered ticket—Number 302—from the dispenser. I was served almost right away. Two hitches: first, it turned out that I had printed out and filled out the wrong form from online, so I had to start all over again; second, I wasn't permitted to pay the W30,000 fee for a new ID card via my bank card: I had to stroll over to the next building's bank, grab some cash, and pay that way. That was easy enough. I now have to wait three weeks for my new ID card to be issued, so the lady told me to come back on March 10.

All in all, that was pretty smooth sailing: the entire process took twenty-three minutes. Still, I'm a bit miffed about paying W30,000 just to announce my change of residence.* Last year, I had paid a W100,000 fine for not having declared a change of residence; W30,000 is a significant chunk of W100,000. I don't feel that I saved any money, and I came away thinking that the Korean government, like governments everywhere, does what it can to nickel-and-dime you to death.

And now for the rest of my day. If all goes according to plan, I'm going to head down to Dongguk, get my electronic certificate uploaded onto my thumb drive, visit the Dongguk branch of Shinhan Bank, wire cash to the States, and learn how to wire cash domestically via my phone app. After that, I'm heading over to Yongsan to get my old, dead Mac's hard drive turned into an external drive (I expect that's going to cost me some dough—and I'll probably have to come back to get the drive in a few days), then I'll go back to Goyang, where I'll buy myself a fookin' microwave oven from E-Mart or one of the other big stores. (As I may have mentioned before, E-Mart, Costco, and Home Plus all have branches within walking distance of each other here in Goyang.) That ought to be enough zigging and zagging for one day. Maybe later this week, I'll swoop down on Costco and do a meat raid. I'm actually thinking of fixing myself some choucroute alsacienne.

*It's possible that the fee also has to do with the fact that I need a new card: my current card no longer has any space on which to print out my new address. I move too much.



Charles said...

I find it amusing that you refer to people waiting in immigration as "customers." That would imply that immigration is somehow a service.

Kevin Kim said...

I make you laugh? I'm here to fuckin' amuse you?

Imagine the above being said in Joe Pesci's voice.

Charles said...

Funny like a clown, Tommy. Funny like a clown.

(I got the reference--no explanation necessary.)