Monday, March 31, 2008

Yet another reason for foreigners to feel like criminals in Korea

Here we go again!

You might recall in the past when I wrote a post about how the bank wouldn't let me send money to a Canadian bank account that was in my own name. They actually allowed me to send money but I wanted to send about $2000 and they said I could only do it the one time (never again) and that it couldn't be more than $999.

My first reaction was to be livid. Then I calmed down a bit and called some of my foreign friends that have been living in Korea. Some of them had had similar experiences but most of them said they didn't encounter my troubles. So, I went to another branch of the same bank, keeping my mouth tightly shut and pretending I never had trouble with a bank transfer before. The new branch gave me no troubles whatsoever!! I was able to send money in whatever amount I wished to anybody I wanted (including myself).

Then there was the time that I went to the Philippines and I couldn't take any money out of my Korean bank account. I called my boss and asked if I had been paid. He got back to me and finally told me that there is a new law for foreigner bank accounts. You cannot withdraw money from your own bank account when you are outside of the country! Luckily for me I had a Korean bank account that pre-dated the law and I was able to get some cash transferred there.

Now, I'm having some new troubles with a cellphone. I got a nice phone for Rosi so she can enjoy the Korean experience of text messaging and calling like everybody else. Only I just found out that I cannot get the service hooked up as I already have a phone! Okay . . . So, apparently one can only have a single cellphone registered under your Korean Alien Card at one time! So, I've emailed a copy of my wife's ID and they are taking their sweet time about setting up the new phone.

And now they are telling me they need to see her passport as well as the back of her ID card. Christ what a pain in the ass. According to my friend at the High School who is translating for me, it is unlawful to have more than one cellphone registered to a foreigner!!!

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