Friday, August 24, 2007

The Bank

We received our first Korean bill which, of course, was in Korean and needed to be translated. So Curt took it to work to ask a co-worker what it was for and it was a bill for my cell phone. There is an interesting story about my Korean cell phone. I had to have the number changed due to daily calls and text messages I was getting. Apparently, the guy who had my number previously was a blackmailer and also owed money to a lot of people. When I would answer my phone, I would always state I didn't speak Korean. Sometimes they would hang up right away and sometimes they would continue talking until I hung up. We had my friend Ji-Young, and my Korean language teacher look at the text messages on my phone. They were both surprised at how threatening the messages were. So as of yesterday, I have a new number and hopefully the calls will stop. How freaky is that!

Back to the title of this post, I needed to go to our bank to set up automatic payments for my cell phone bill. I figured that the teller would not know English so I had the phone number of Hellena from our relocation agency in case I had trouble.

The bank is about 3/4 - 1 mile away from our house which isn't very far as the crow flies but when you have to wait at the crosswalks for 5 minutes, it can take a LONG time to get anywhere. It was also in the upper 80's with wicked humidity. So I entered the bank, dripping sweat (nothing unusual about that), and went to the first teller that smiled at me. He asked in perfect English, "How can I help you?" I was SHOCKED! I said, "You speak English?!" He said, "Of course." So I gave him my bill and told him what I needed done. He had a form I had to fill out which was in Korean so he helped me with that. It's always so funny to see the box where you need to sign your name. It is usually about a 1/2" square which is really a tiny space to write "Becky Meverden." As Jung Kang, the bank teller, was processing my paperwork the questions began: "Where are you from? Is your husband in the military?" the usual Korean questions.

Then another bank employee popped out of nowhere and Jung Kang seemed a little more nervous. He introduced me to the man and said he was the Vice President of the bank and that he wanted to meet me. He spoke only in Korean and Jung Kang translated for him. He wanted to know if the bank was doing a good job for me. Of course, I answered all his questions positively and then he said goodbye. I asked Jung Kang if the Vice President comes out to greet many customers and he replied, "Only very special ones." Ahhh, do I feel special.

When he was finished with the paperwork he started telling me that he wanted to be my friend. He wanted to show me Korea. Anything I wanted to do, anywhere I wanted to go. He went on and on. He gave me his business card and said to call him about anything - he would be happy to help me. He would "do that for me." I then asked him, jokingly, if he could do something about the humidity. I could tell he really didn't understand what I was talking about.

I left the bank beginning my sweat drenching walk back to the apartment and thinking to myself, wow, I am continually amazed at how giving the Koreans are. Tomorrow I am going out with my friend, Ji-Young. She asked what I wanted to do and I said that I didn't know. So we'll see what she comes up with and I'll be sure to bring the camera.


CreekHiker said...

Becky, I was so amazed when I was in Japan at how friendly they are there too. Everyone is so helpful. I'm so glad you are meeting such wonderful people.

Helena said...

Ah yes, the humidity! Fortunately it doesn't last forever. It just seems like forever.

Fall in Korea is sooooo gorgeous. You'll have to get out in the country somewhere.

Becky said...

I am so thankful it is a friendly country!

So, when does Fall hit Korea???

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