Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sometimes my life is so weird...

So onto today (I guess technically it's yesterday at this point but I haven't gone to sleep yet...)! So the big errand that we decided to do today was to close our Shinhan bank account. A bit of background, last year Little Brown wanted us to use Shinhan and so we did. Our new school deals with Hanna bank and therefore required us to open a second account if we wanted to get paid. So even though we like Shinhan more (it's the exchange bank here, we always had good experiences and there are tons of Shinhan banks so it's easy to withdraw money without having to pay extra charges) we were going to close the account because having two accounts is a bit silly. A slight digression, the word 'hanna' means 1 in Korean, so Matt and I often joke that they call it Hanna bank because there's only one frickin' bank. Hence our annoyance at never finding one when we need it.

So picture this, Amber and Matty sitting nervously in Shinhan bank, clutching their bank books and passports, wondering if they were going to be able to communicate effectively what they wanted to do. Then an impeccably dressed man breezes in and asks in perfect English, "Hello, what are you doing here today?". We explained and he was like, you shouldn't close your account, follow me. So we went to the second floor of the bank, into his gorgeous private office and sat down in cushy leather chairs. Turns out he was the manager of the bank and basically he said if we kept our accounts open (and just transfered our pay from Hanna to Shinhan) that he would cut us a deal. It was a good deal (had to do with 50% reduction in bank charges and fees, including when we transfer money and a premium money exchange rate) so we said what the hell.

It was really bizarre though to have a bank clamoring for my business. I mean, it's not like I'm drowning in assets over here. Only in Korea I tell you! We didn't just talk to him about bank stuff, we also discussed his time in Ho Chi Minh City, different tonal frequencies in various languages and the benefits of teaching English here vs. being a real teacher back home. A bit of a trip but now we have an important bank friend. Nice!

Also it turns out we have more funds than we previously thought so that's always good news since it's Joi Teacher's birthday celebration this weekend and we don't get paid until the 10th. Sorry this post is so text heavy. I'll try to do better next time.

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