Wednesday, January 31, 2007

how to get a cell phone fixed

It was the one of the worst maps I ever had. I have been walking all around the area where I live looking for a cell phone repair shop that is certified by the company that makes my cell phone and I just couldn’t find the shop. Somehow my cell phone broke last night and so I set off to get it fixed. (I remind you how I mentioned in a previous blog that my phone is not just my phone but also is my watch, my alarm clock, my subway map, my dictionary, my camera, my voice recorder, my calculator, my calendar, and my phone book and yes I do talk on it too).

Now this quest started off to be a little bit of a problem because I don’t exactly remember where I got my phone. It was my third day in Korea, jet lagged and dazed, everything seemed so new, strange, and overwhelming to me back when I purchased it. But regardless, I set out to find the shop that sold me the phone.

I gave up and just went into one of the dozen shops on what I thought was same street that look pretty much the same and well, it might have been the same store but who really knows. The very nice worker who actually spoke some English told me that to get my phone fixed, I had to go to the service center. She even drew me map and upon 1 minute of being outside the door of the shop, I realized it was going to be completely difficult to use because the landmarks on the map were not even in the right relationship to each other. In fact they were completely wrong, not even a one of them in the right place. But I set off and figured that according to the baffling map and landmarks that the place I could be looking for could be in only 1 of 4 or 5 buildings located on the 2nd floor of said ghost building.

So on the last building, still not having found the place I was looking for, I decided to start over and go into another cell phone shop just like the dozen other on this new street and talk to the people there. Bingo! As soon as I walk in, the very friendly guy who unfortunately did not speak English at all said, “service-uh center-uh?” I say, “yes” and he communicates through hand signals and all those strange things that people do when they can’t talk. Basically, he communicated for me to go to the next intersection and the service center would be on the 2nd floor. Yeeesssss! The first girl also said the 2nd floor. Although I have to mention that where I was going was now completely off the map, I still thought I was going to make it.

I stumbled my way around the 2nd floor into to service center put my phone down took a deep breath and said, “hand-uh phone opsoyo” which I think translated in English means “no cell phone”. Anyway, they understood and took it away. Thirty minutes later, I sat there at the complementary lobby computer typing this very message and I still had “no cell”. Hahaha.

Actually, nobody there spoke English and so I don’t really know exactly what was going on. After a while a technician came out and asked me if I spoke hungal (Korean). I said “hungal opsoyo” which of course means “no Korean”. He understood and acted out that my phone was broken. I knew that but at least things were happening.

Not too much longer there he was, he gave me my phone back in working order and ready to go. Well, minus all the phone numbers/pictures/ring tones/other important information in the phone as now the memory was wiped completely clean. That was the price I had to pay for getting my phone back because there wasn’t any other price. When all was said and done my bill was zilch.

So, the rest of this story is that I sat down to type this blog up as an intro to my blog about have gone ice fishing but as this story itself has turned into a tale of its own, I shall plan on saving my ice fishing adventure for next time. Hope everyone is well and I hope you have a nice day.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Life in January

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It has been a while since I have written. So 2007 has arrived and I am looking forward to a prosperous, happy, and healthy year. As for January though, well, it might be a bit prosperous but not as happy as I would like. I am working a lot these days during the dreaded and long “Winter Intensive”. Winter intensive is the time of year that the school kids get off for their winter break except that they don’t get a break. Instead they get “intensified” by attending my school and spending their break days learning English. To me, that doesn’t sound like that much fun. I feel sorry for the little guys having to go to school so much but I also feel bad for myself for having to work so much. Anyway, next month will be better as I shall go back to my normal schedule and so I will be happier and healthy (not so much as prosperous) but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Therefore, I would like to share some pics of my school kids, all of which had been taken by my camera phone. While the quality of the pics might that be that great, they are still good enough for you to get an idea of what my classrooms are like and to see a few of the personalities I work with, for good or for bad. So here they are, the pics that show what the largest chunk of my life in Korea is about (especially this month).