Showing posts from September 18, 2005

I'm A Legal Alien

This is a momentous day for me: I have finally been accepted as a real, legal alien Australian by the South Korean Department of Immigration. Wow, that rolls off the tongue. I'm like Sting's "Englishman In New York", twirling my cane up and down the street, asking for my toast to be burnt on one side, etc. Combovers, tweed - you know the drill. "Are you from that England?" Nope, I'm starring in Alien 5. That's my spaceship over there. Oh, did I hit you with my extendable set of teeth? Sorry. Watch out for that drool, dude.

My odyssey through the Immigration system here began just over three weeks ago when I took the longest subway ride of my life to the Gwacheon Government Complex on the south side of the Han River (a kind of mini-Canberra bureaucratic theme park), only to discover that I was supposed to be another killer subway ride away at the Seoul Immigration Office in Omogkyo (sp?). It was between transfers on this shockingly long trip that I r…

Just Another Manic Update

Rather than bore my dear readers with the minutiae of my sojourns here in Seoul (what I had for breakfast, the weather forecast, how much I miss home), I seek instead in this post to offer a few random snippets, observations and thoughts.

1,2,3,5 ...

A ride in the elevator in my hostel has proven to be far more fascinating than you would expect - there is no fourth floor in this building, nor anywhere else in Korea, four being an unlucky number here. Hence: 1,2,3,5 ... It seems that not much really comes in fours - packets of biscuits (one of Seoul's secret delights) come in fives; you cannot buy a four-pack of beers; four-four time music has been banned; golfers yell out "five!" when they are about to hit the ball; groups of four are not allowed in restaurants; cricket umpires fail to acknowledge boundaries; and foreplay is frowned upon. As of this moment onwards, I will only buy five beers at a time (1, 2 and 3 also being unlucky numbers in my personal horoscope).

Korea …