Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Reasons Korea is great #85-88

Okay, so I haven't necessarily listed reasons #1-84, just go with me.

Reason #85: going to the doctor. I rarely go to the doctor, so I don't have the national health insurance (1.5% of your salary). I pay full price when I go. That's ten dollars for the GP, or one hundred, when I get sick on a national holiday and have to go to the ER.

Reason #86: I went to the eye doctor yesterday. No appointment, because you don't need one. Wait time: less than one minute. Total cost: twenty dollars US. Much like the ER visit, the receptionist actually apologized that I had to pay "full price". Yeah, I'll live.

Reason #87: I got new glasses today (and realized how badly I needed them). Total cost of frames and lenses: under forty dollars. Total time: twenty minutes. AND the optician apologized when she told me how long it would be. (!)

BTW the shop was on yarn alley and with twenty minutes to kill, I did not buy any yarn. I didn't let myself walk in any of the shops in order to not tempt fate, but still. I. Resisted. Temptation. Stop the presses.

Reason #88: The bank gave me a gift today: a CD that I can use to download one hundred movies on them. I've gotten gifts from the bank before: calendars every year, a wallet/ datebook/ clutch thing, an umbrella... This was special because it was not my bank. I was at the bank I use to send money home. (The won is not a hard currency, so only certain banks are authorized to exchange money.)

I hadn't been there since the end of December when I was getting money for my trip home. The teller asked me about my trip and told me I looked prettier from relaxing and seeing my family. I don't remember stuff people I know told me yesterday and she remembered that I needed money for a trip home two months ago.

To balance this:
Reason Korea is not great #43: My boss got mugged by a guy on a scooter on Monday. She was on her way to the bank so she had all of her bank books with her, including her stamps. In Korea, there are only about 100 surnames and no cursive, so in lieu of a signature, Koreans have stamps for official uses. If someone steals it, they have your "signature". Of course, her national ID card was also in her bag- basically the only other thing they would need to steal her identity, at least for things like using her credit cards.

Reason Korea is not great #44: A friend's coworker was recently walking her dog when she was nearly kidnapped by a guy in a van . It was night on a poorly lit road, but the van pulled up to her outside of a restaurant. According to the friend, diners watched with curiosity while the girl fended off the attacker. Fortunately for her, she was in fact stronger than the guy and ran in to the restaurant and refused to leave until they called the police.

Korea is basically a safe place, but the citizenry is working hard to catch up with the rest of the world.


Finally, reason Korea is not great #45: My ever-changing view:

1 comment:

Jan-Knit said...

Wow! I'm thinking I should send you my eyeglass perscription to be filled. Even with shipping charges....