Commuting

Letter to Korea, August 2014

Dear Korea,


Recognising Value in Korea

There’s a lot to be said for value. Much of what we value, or how we place value on something, depends on our recognition of the use and importance of the particular subject in question. Like a four day work week, which may have more value to a person who regularly works a five or six day week than to a person who only works three days a week. It’s all about how much worth we put in particular things.

Today is May 5. Up until around seven years ago this day meant nothing to me. There’s no reason to really celebrate May 5th in Ireland, other than when it is the first Monday of the month of May. In Korea, today is Children’s Day. In Mexico and the U.S. , today is Cinco de Mayo which is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride.


Practical Tips for Foreigners Living in Korea

Banking: The single biggest problem for non-Korean citizens living in Korea is banking. You cannot just open an account at Kookmin Bank (KB) and then take your ATM card to the U.S. and withdraw money at the Citibank ATM in Los Angeles. It doesn’t work.

I must recommend KEB, Korea Exchange Bank, which has a global banking account, where foreigners can open accounts, which have the same online banking capabilities as the other banks in Korea. In addition, with the global banking account, you can with withdraw money when you are back home (assuming that is not Korea).

VITAL POINT: You need to designate a foreign exchange bank with a form at KEB. Without this, you will not be able to withdraw money in a country outside of Korea, even if you have the correct acccount, and ATM card. This is a VITAL POINT (the phrase native Koreans love is “key point”). I cannot stress how important this is!.


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