Tuesday, July 10, 2007

bank hell

First, news about the family. Charlize is cute as hell and we are
trying our best to get things done speedily despite the shockingly
slow pace of life here. I'm scaring the daylights out of our baby
quite frequently with my brusk manner and loud alarming voice -- well
it's about time she got something other than a coddling don't you
think?

I don't mind if she cries just so long as she is safe and learning the
important things:

Don't touch power cords (could be fatal at the local 220 volts)
Don't touch power plugs (ditto)
Stay away from poisonous if swallowed things, hot things and box springs
Stay away from high places
Don't try to go downstairs (still walking a bit too unstably)

Rosi and the yaya (nanny) are quite alarmed at my 'masculine'
techniques of making loud noises and menacing gestures when I'm trying
to prevent fatal accidents. The main point of objection seems to be
that if I scare her then she will cry!!!!

Naturally, she is cute as a button so I'd rather not see her cry but
if I can get her to immediately avoid something that is dangerous I'm
not worried about how much crying occurs thereafter. As far as I'm
concerned, "hey I saved her life so what if she cries for the next 5
minutes"?

But the ladies here think I should be some sort of strange and lovable
god. "You must save her life and make her really happy and all smiles
at the same time".

Naturally I just growl at them and they stop bothering me with their
crazy child rearing techniques.

Filipinos and Koreans seem to share some basic child rearing
techniques. The primary technique as far as I can determine is:

DON'T DO ANYTHING THAT MIGHT MAKE A BABY CRY!!

Even if the baby would be better off not eating that chocolate, hey,
better give it to her or she might cry. Better let her play with that
book, cause if you take it away from her she might cry. If she doesn't
get to tear every single page out of that book she might cry . . .

So, Charlize is experiencing a bit of a culture shock with her
Canadian papa shoving her around and occasionally shouting at her and
snatching things away from her but we are getting along just fine and
I'm having a great time getting to know her.

GOD DAMN BANKS

I don't really think I should let the negative overpower everything in
my life but it seems to frequently fuel my blog entries!

I've contacted my bosses assistant at my Uni (a very nice, friendly
and very helpful guy). I've told him the deal about my bank (KB) and
he managed to inquire at said bank.

Apparently it is now illegal to withdraw cash from a Korean bank
account unless you are doing so from within Korea!

I wonder if this is just a special rule for foreigners?

So, while abroad, bank accounts opened after June 2005 are not
accessible from outside of Korea you must use a credit card (if you
have one). My bosses assistant didn't indicate that this was a special
law for (or rather against) foreigners so I will give the benefit of a
doubt and conclude that this law is against everybody and not just
white folk like me.

For the moment, I'm doing okay because my other bank account was
opened several years ago and is still accessible for me from overseas.

I don't know about this, I have had dealings with bank clerks before .
. . There was that twat who told me that I couldn't transfer money
overseas unless I was sending it to a second party (i.e. cannot
transfer from my account in Korea to my account in Canada) . . . He
told me that this was a new Korean law, but as it turned out he was
full of shit. He also told me that the new law indicated that I could
not send more than US$1000 at a time. That turned out to be crap as
well . . .

But, as with many things in Korea I need to wonder if perhaps this is
truly the new law or if it is possible that somebody just doesn't like
the looks of me. Also, it's important to keep in mind that just
because I was able to do these things at one bank but not another does
not indicate the status of any laws!!!! It seems to be a time honored
tradition in Korea to break the law -- as frequently as possible!

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