who ... moi?

a social butterfly: scared of much, but not of many. never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. not a fan of acronyms, snakes and angelina jolie. a HUGE fan of Fathead.

this blog is black for ENERGY-SAVING reasons.

thanks for your understanding.
if it's too dark, put your glasses on old one.

Monday, February 8, 2010

it's a small world, afterall

somethings are really simple to do here.  somethings "just work".  the list of things that have been well-thought out is endless.  it does not, however, include getting a cell phone nor opening a bank account.

for these, you'll need medical examinations, alien resident cards, passports and several  forms just to get your bank book.  you bank book only allows you to withdraw from a specific ATM, and also requires a second pin code (which we only discovered a few weeks after obtaining said book).  back into the bank we went, back in the queues we stood.  another pin, another form and then finally we were able to draw moola.

this didn't solve our banking needs entirely, mind you.  until you have a card  you cannot swipe in store (and you know how much i hate paying in cash), nor can you transfer funds home. so it was back to the bank (which does not open on saturdays, and only operates between 09h00 - 16h00 every weekday).

another queque, another charade session to establish that something had "gone wrong" in our initial bankbook acquisition, and now we needed to change all details again and start afresh.

so ... all that said, we've been here for almost 6 weeks, and still have no bank cards.

cellphones are equally as complicated, and require just about as much backing documentation as the banks do.

in deepest darkest africa you can walk into any four-walled structure bearing a coca-cola sign and pick up a sim card for less than a buck.

here, they don't even have sim cards.  but all the admin and struggle behind us - we now have cell phones!
can i get a hoot hoot?

yours truly can now be contacted on +8210 2200 0764 
(Fathead can be contacted on his number, should you enquire and should he wish to share it).

the schlep of getting the phone has a long and boring story attached to it - so i'll spare you the details.  but i will share this part of it:

we walk into our third network provider store, and the korean dudie behind the counter spots my beaded SA flag badge on my back pack:

"where are you from?"  he asks
"south africa?"  i inquire -  we tend to ask that, rather than say it - unsure of whether they have any clue where we're talking about.
"no, i know that - i mean where"
"oh ... cape town?"
"oh right", he says,"i used to live in brakenfell".

i . shit . you . not  !!!

it turns out that the cell phone dude from LG went to fairmont high school and lived in sa for 10 years. can you actually handle it?!  so the two of us started becoming best friends while the rest of the group (of which there were another 4 people) battled to communicate.  eventually my NBF sorted us all out with a schweet deal involving free calls from LG to LG phones (which means that Fathead and i can call each other and most of the other teachers for free).

mr korean van braken  suddenly found himself with four simultaneous full-contract sales on his hands.  but he did good, made his commission and off the four of us newly-connected beings went.

so like a huddle of dweebs that no one would have talked to in high school, myself and three of the boys here all have matching-smatching white LG phones... upon which you can also watch tv (albeit only in korean)complete with pull out aerials . very random, but there you have it.

 it is a small world, afterall.


1 comment:

  1. Most cellphones in Korea have TV and it is for free as well, and you can watch it underground while you are on the subway, very cool !!