And…. we're back

I’ve been working at Joongbu University for a little over a month now. Lots of things have happened since my last missive. I haven’t written since I left Ulsan as I was a little paranoid about my visa status, but now that that is sorted, posting begins now.

  • Daejeon Immigration Office gave me until April 25 to get my house in order. This meant I had to get a replacement testamur and get that verified by the issuing university (weird process since they are verifying a document they issued) and then get an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The apostille can only be processed in certain DFAT offices in Australia, not at embassies, even though the embassies are run by DFAT.
  • I teach five majors: animation; social welfare, health administration, print media, hotel management. Students at this university have to wear a uniform. So the flight attendants wear their uniforms, the police officers wear the formal uniforms (black/navy blue), and the hotel management students wear a black suit/tie. Of all the students in my classes, only one of the hotel management majors wears a suit as he is a 2nd year student. The uniform rules don’t apply for 3rd and 4th years (and flight attendants are only here for two years anyway, I think).
  • In this university, most classes have students from the same major. On the one hand, university serves as a way to build a network, but on the other it’s hard to open your mind to differing opinions if everyone you know is studying the exact same thing. 3rd and 4th year students also seem to hold court as the 1st and 2nd year students must bow to their 선배 (seon-bae, upper classmen, literally ‘prior group’).
  • The campus is quite pretty. This is a photo I took on my antique iPhone 3GS last week from the cafe. Speaking of smart phones…
    Not bad for a 5-year-old piece of ....
    Not bad for a 5-year-old piece of ….

    My roommate took this one. Only now did I notice the border
    My roommate took this one. Only now did I notice the border
  • My phone is old. Like really old, as phones go. I have a rolling contract with KT but this month KT is not allowed to sign up any new customers. Ever been in a situation where you go to buy something and you have the money right there ion the counter but the gormless salesperson refuses to sell you the item? Yeah, it’s like that. I want to get a Note 3 so I’m not quite sure how the provider being penalised for what seems to be standard business practice in Korea’s telecommunications industry (since all providers have had to a moratorium on new contracts) prevents me from  buying a phone. Unless the manufacturer was involved in said business practices.
  • My kitten had her operation last week. She has been handling it pretty well. I’ll be taking her to the vet this weekend to get her stitches out. She had to wear one of those Elizabethan collars but she very easily slipped out of it. Luckily she wasn’t licking her stitches so it’s all healed up now. She was a little depressed when she first came home as the vet had clipped her claws. But now they’re almost as razor sharp as before.

This is what the vet said

“She might have a problem eating with the cone on cause the edges are so long due to her small face. Sigh…I envy her.”


        • So the Sewol sank. The university festival has been postponed until next semester as the whole nation is mourning. Yellow seems to be the colour of mourning, or hope as in there may be some survivors still on the ship even after a month. You may have read some articles about what may have caused this accident, some even saying it’s cultural. I won’t bother linking that drivel here. IMO, it was likely poor training and a lack of oversight that allowed this to happen. But here is one about Korea refusing Japan’s aid.

Korea rejects Japan’s help for Sewol tragedy

  • Apparently, the Korean government also refused US Navy aid. I can understand how receiving aid can be interpreted as appearing weak and how giving aid can be interpreted as being strong. Hence Korea (through Korean companies that have a close working relationship with the government) donates money and equipment to countries hit by disasters (Haiti, China, Philippines all received money, equipment, and operators from my former employer after their disasters as doing so supports the idea of “responsible corporate citizen”) but is loth to receive aid. For even an iota of weakness may encourage Korea’s neighbours to invade, again (kinda all the time).
  • Tried to change my location on Google+. Incredibly difficult; couldn’t do it. No idea why I bothered with that platform anyway.
  • I’m in a club. The first rule of this club is that we don’t talk about this club

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