Another year, another annual health exam for my job contract. I went at around 3 pm, after an early breakfast and no lunch. 8 hour fast! I then stopped by a nearby restaurant for 돈가스 (don-kas-s) for 6,000 won. So many side dishes! I felt a bit guilty for being a solo table getting all these side dishes. But! I wasn’t the only solo table, so I guess it’s okay.
I don’t really care for all that sauce. Maybe I should ask for no sauce next time, but then again dish modifications are an only-in-America thing. I think?
I’m trying to back up all my photos. Really should print them out occasionally, but it’s hard to do so as a perpetual expat. It’s a shame that I don’t have a whole lot of them. I know there’s developed film photos from high school and before, but it’s almost like I didn’t exist between the years 2004-2014. Ten years!
Here’s a photo I found from when I was waitressing in Los Angeles. This was in 2013. I clearly remember how much I HATED how I looked – I thought I needed to look more polished for the dining room, etc. Looking back, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was spec (restaurant’s dress specifications)! It’s never enough, you know. Youth is wasted on the young!
I’m not sure, but I think this is my fourth custom build. In the background, you can see a bit of my old, massive ATX case, and big Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler. I’m working on my ridiculously overpriced (because it was in mint condition and out of production) mini-ITX LGA 1150 Z board. My i5-4670K does everything I want at the moment, so no point in paying $$$ for even more overpriced parts.
Rant incoming: Cryptomining has pushed up GPU and RAM prices to a ridiculous level. Walk around somewhere like Yongsan’s Sunin Plaza, especially the ground floor, and you’ll see rack upon rack of furiously spinning GPUs. And although it’s obviously for mining crypto, the shops will pretend that it’s totally not for mining. Yeah, like what else could it possibly be for, an entire wall of hot GPUs spinning nonstop? Are you running an animation studio? Not even Pixar renders 24/7, so what’s this? Okay, I’ll shut up now.
Back to my computer. Anyway, it’s now in the much smaller Silverstone SG13 case! The idea is that I’ll only need to bubble-wrap this and take it with me in a suitcase. In contrast, I had to disassemble my entire ATX in order to bring it from California to South Korea, and then I also had to buy a new case in South Korea.
Captain – my second cat – has been having awfully smelly breath for a while now. When I first adopted him from the shelter, he was already full-grown, had lived in several places, and already had a teeth plaque problem. The vet said a scaling wasn’t necessary just yet. Anyway, this week I decided that alright, let’s get this stinky breath FIXED. A different vet at the same clinic agreed that yes, it was time for a scaling, and also some periodontal disease meds.
I showed up at my reservation time of 11:30 am, and Captain went off for his blood draw. I stayed at the clinic for about 15 minutes, waiting for the bloodwork to be done. Everything was a go, except for the creatinine levels, which was at 1.9, when the recommended range was 0.8-1.8. Not too high, so it’s fine. But I’m going to have to figure out how to get him to drink more water. I’ve already been mixing in lots of water in his wet food? Ugh, I don’t know. So I signed the authorization papers for anesthesia and scaling (this was surprisingly in English, perfect English!), and was told to come pick him up anytime after 5 pm.
The process is much cheaper than in the US. It cost me 77,000 won for the actual scaling. And 55,000 won for the bloodwork.
Earlier that day, I had just gotten a vaccination for myself. 170,000 won! A bit of a pricey day for both the human and one of her animals.
1.5 years later, I’ve completed the program! For some reason, I kept thinking that I had started the program in 2015, but I actually started in April 2016, and have now completed it in December 2017. I guess it just felt so long; I was convinced that surely it must have been over 2 years now. It really is quite the ordeal, spending 8 hours in class on a Sunday or Saturday … and back in Level 2, on some weekends, I did 8 hours each on Saturday AND Sunday! I’m so happy to have my 2-day weekends back.
I have two certificates: KIIP (Korea Immigration and Integration Program), and KIPRAT (Korea Immigration Permanent Residency Ability??Acceptance??Aptitude??idk Test). They were both issued automatically through the Socinet.go.kr website, after I passed my Level 5 (50 hours) exam. The dates on the certificates are different, because the dates will be whatever date I clicked on it print from the Socinet website.
It is a massive time commitment, but it is worth it. I did it because it was the only language class I could take in my area. Almost everything I know in Korean, is from being taught it directly in KIIP classes, or from picking it up through casual conversations with the teachers or classmates. I’m far from fluent, and I make plenty of mistakes … but I get by just fine.
Here’s how my schedule was, from Level 2 to Level 5:
Placement test: 2016.04.30
Intermediate exam: 2017.08.19
Final exam: 2017.12.16
Again: massive time commitment. Not everyone is up to it. But worth it.