Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Phone

I had a really good weekend.  I spent Friday night with my coworkers and then Saturday evening with Claire.

We got me a cell phone.  Since I wanted a smartphone she had to co-sign for it with me. 

I wasn’t able to get my iPhone unlocked (thank you AT&T) and even if I had it would’ve cost ₩200,000 or $200.  I looked into getting a Korean iPhone, but it would’ve cost ₩30,000 a month, on top of my monthly plan.  The phone I ended up getting is only ₩5,250 a month on top of my monthly plan.

It’s this phone: 

And here's what mine looks like:

My Pretty Phone!

Total, I pay ₩65,000 a month and I get 300 texts, 300 minutes, and unlimited data.  The data is the important part, because everyone uses apps to communicate.  Since almost everyone has a phone that uses apps. 

Skype is a popular one, but difficult without wifi, because it’s so picky sometimes, especially for calls.
KaKao Talk is a big one over here.  It’s sort of like AIM, just from phone to phone.
Viber is one that was recommended to me in the states and it basically lets me call or text anyone using only data if they have this app also.

There’s also plain email and Facebook.

Since my phone is a Google phone it also works really, really well with Google chat. 

If you have a smartphone and want to download Viber or KaKao send me an email and I’ll send you my phone number over here.  Don’t call me on it…please…the international rates are crazy because I didn’t pay more to get cheap ones.  You just use my number to look me up on those two apps.  Also, if calling me on Viber, please remember that I am 14h ahead of the Central Time Zone (13h ahead of Eastern Time Zone) and that I work from 1pm to 9pm my time – which is 11pm to 7am Central Time.  That shouldn’t be a problem, since most people are asleep then, but still, I thought I’d mention it.

Going to get a phone here is an entirely different experience from the states.  Claire took me to the store where she got here phone.  It’s an Olleh store which is for the carrier KT – one of the top three carriers in South Korea.

While there they were really helpful and friendly.  They gave me a case for my phone for free, as well as a screen protector.  They also gave Claire a new case and screen protector.  While my paperwork was being processed they gave us hazelnut canned coffee (canned coffee is huge here, a million different brands, not just Starbucks).  Then, when I got home and looked in my bag, not only did I find the cell phone box, but I also found a cute mug that they just gave me for free.

It was amazing, especially because that would never happen in the US.

It’s interesting. 

The longer I stay here, the more things I notice that are different, and in a pretty good way.

Sure, my apartment is small and my bathroom is odd, but it makes sense.  I’m living on my own, why do I need a big place?  It’s not like I would use it.  As for the bathroom, it’s really not that big a deal.  I’m more comfy taking a shower in there than I ever was in one of my showers at home, with the exception of one of the big, expensive showers. 

It’s odd walking down the street or in a crowded store.  If you bump into someone, you don’t apologize; you just ignore it and keep going.  This may seem rude, but it’s not.  This place is crowded, there’s no way to avoid hitting someone sometimes – especially at E-mart on the weekend.  What is so nice about this is that no one gets a nasty look for being in the way. 

There are some other things I’m noticing, but I’ll save those for a later entry.

So, I hope everyone had a good weekend back home and that you have a lovely Monday.  Mine is pretty much over now and it was a pretty good day.



Good Morning!

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