Archive for January, 2010

Living like a pimp ain’t cheap

For the uninitiated, here’s how housing works in Korea:

Put down a deposit which you get back, and also pay rent. The bigger your deposit the lower your rent is, and if you put down a big enough deposit your rent could be zero depending on how nice the place is and where it’s located. Lately, though, nobody seems to want to do the big deposit/no rent deal, probably because interest rates are so bad. The Korean economy tends to follow the U.S. economy, see.

Here’s a look at some places I’ve checked out. Right now, ₩1 million = about US$885 (₩1,130 = $1)

posted by Michael in Whatever on 1/27/2010 | No Comments


I miss my burritos and Italian Beef, but the food in Korea is pretty fucking great.

posted by Michael in Food on 1/27/2010 | Comment (1)

I’m back, again

Back on LIK, that is… been back in Korea for a good 2 weeks now and Alaska and I are ready to get the hell outta the wifi-less motel! More on that later. Here are some random pics.

posted by Michael in Whatever on 1/27/2010 | No Comments

A few more pics

Tomorrow I’m gonna drag Jisun around with me to a few budongsans (real estate offices) and look for a place to live. Finally! The motel’s aight, but it would be nice to have an actual apartment with wifi and all that.

posted by Michael in Food,Whatever on 1/19/2010 | Comments (2)

How to get your Korean resident ID card

I’m pretty sure there’s some rule that you have to get an ID card within 30 days if you’re planning to hang around with your F-4 visa, so here’s what you gotta do:

  • Go to the immigration office in Omokyo
  • Walk in and go to the right where the big waiting area is, find the ticket dispenser, push the button for “foreign visa” or whatever it’s labeled, and take a number
  • Go to the third floor and buy a token for the photo booth from one of the windows on the left. If you only need an ID card you’ll also need to buy a w10,000 revenue stamp, and if you’re also getting an F-4 visa (meaning you didn’t get it before arriving in Korea) I think you’ll need another w50,000 in stamps, all of which you can get from the same place as the photo token. You’ll also need them to make a copy of your passport which costs w200 or so
  • Get your pic taken in the booth before you walk out and head back to the first floor
  • In the big waiting area on the first floor where you got your number (hopefully they haven’t called you yet) find the application for “foreign blah blah blah” and fill it out. You’ll need to put down something for your Korean address and phone number, so fake it if you have to
  • If you’ve been issued an ID card before then you’ll need another application to have it reissued and that can be found somewhere in the same office, just hunt around
  • When your number is called you’ll have to present your hojuk, passport, passport photocopy, application, photos, and revenue stamps


If everything’s in order, they’ll take everything (including your passport) and tell you to come back in a week when you can pick up your card and/or visa.

Now go get shitfaced!

posted by Michael in Whatever on 1/19/2010 | Comments (2)

Some pics from the big arrival

Laptop battery is dying quick so I’ll skip the play-by-play and let the pictures tell the story:

posted by Michael in Food,Whatever on 1/16/2010 | Comments (3)

We is outta heeeerrrre

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/13/2010 | Comment (1)

Denise loves slot machines

And apparently they love her… we put in some time at Harvey’s and Harrah’s at South Lake Tahoe and, for the FIFTH time in the past three years, Denise won $1000 on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine! And before that, she hit two different straight flushes on the Pai Gow table. Denise’s $5 bonus bet got her $250 on the first one and she got $50 on the second one because I’m a dumbfuck and only spotted her enough to make a $1 bonus bet. I think my exact words were, “you’re’ not gonna hit that again”. D’oh.

Yesterday I had lunch with Spike in Sacramento, then dinner with Patrick and Mamie in Berkeley, and today I met up with Steve to eat some of the $300 he won in our fantasy football league.

Tomorrow I’m meeting Alaska at SFO, checking Terry into the cargo hold, and then we’re off at noon. Here are some more pics from the past couple of days.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/12/2010 | No Comments

Tahoe good

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/10/2010 | No Comments

Airport bad

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/10/2010 | No Comments

Long story, not so short…

American Airlines wouldn’t let me check Terry into the cargo hold because it was less than 20 degrees outside! It was 7 to be exact, so I wound up putting him on a Continental Airlines flight that went though Houston because Continental is apparently “pet friendly” and they have heated/air conditioned vehicles where the beasts wait until boarding so outside temp doesn’t matter.

So I landed in San Francisco at noon, Terry lands right now (5:21 pm) and my fucking luggage gets here at 7:22. Getting Terry on Continental made me so late for my AA flight that they couldn’t get my shit on the plane in time.

Luckily Patrick & Mamie were able to come and rescue me from 5 hours of airport loitering… we had lunch and went to the Academy of Science museum in Golden Gate Park.

Fuckin American. If you ever have to fly with an animal out of a place where you’re freezing your ass off, go Continental.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/9/2010 | Comments (3)

My family’s all about class

Had a little family gathering tonight since I’m leaving for my California excursion tomorrow and then it’s off to Seoul. My brother Pat was nice enough to get me a going away present:

I was expecting Pat to send me off with a heartfelt message, and he totally delivered!

I was expecting Pat to send me off with a heartfelt message, and he totally delivered!

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/8/2010 | No Comments

Until we meet again…

posted by Michael in Food on 1/8/2010 | Comments (2)

Slingbox is the shit

Without Slingbox I would have been TV-less in the basement for the past month! The only reason I have one is so that I can watch American TV in Korea, and tonite I’m doing an experimental setup of my Slingcatcher (got it for xmas) just to see how it works. It’s beautiful except the Slinglinked internet connectivity in this house sucks and it’s all choppy. Watching my friend Eric’s box in California is perfect, though.

Nik has logged some time on my Slingbox from Korea already and he says the picture isn’t great but it’s very watchable. Now I just gotta get my brother to set it up in his new house! I’ve labeled every possible cable and cord so he knows where they’re supposed to go, and I also made him a nifty diagram in case the official instructions throw him into a tizzy.

(The digital timer is optional – in some cases the Slingbox needs to be rebooted regularly for some unknown technical reason, so the timer is an automated way to do it)

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/7/2010 | No Comments

How to get out of paying an early termination fee with AT&T

All you gotta do is send them a copy of a utility bill that’s in your name… and from another country!

People who come across this post will probably be all excited until they realize that you have to move overseas to get your early termination fee refunded. Sorry kids.

The bill needs to be faxed along with your cell phone number, AT&T account number, and current contact phone number to 866-486-8581, attn: ETF-Relo

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 1/7/2010 | No Comments