The adventures of Cam
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Saturday, 26 September 2009
This picture really doesn’t do it justice. Its 545,000 won, which is only $550 or £270. This is an obscene amount of bills that is close to 2 inches thick!!!!
I could go on and on about the huge number as nothing here costs less than 500 won, which is less than 25p (50 cents), but my biggest issue is the denomination of the bills. The largest bill that they print is 10,000 won (the green one on the left) which works out to less than £5 ($10). Can you imagine carrying nothing but £5, £2 & 50p ($10, $5 and $1) bills and a shitload of change on top of that! It’s pretty ridiculous. I HATE change. Actually, hate isn’t a strong enough word. Now, I’m being given coins worth 50, 10, 5 and 1 won or what would work out to less than £0.025 & £0.005 , half a pence and a twentieth of a penny. Fantastic.
I’ve been living here for just over a month now so I feel more than qualified to comment and criticise a monetary system that’s been around for hundreds of years. 2 suggestions. Drop the 3 zeroes and print some 20’s and 100’s (they have recently produced 50's-although these are not accepted nor given by ATM's).
I still can’t understand the logic behind this one. Here’s how it works. When you’re born, you’re already 1 and even though everyone acknowledges their actual birthdate every year, you don’t actually turn 2 until the Lunar New Year which typically falls around the end of January. Therefore, if you’re born in mid-January you would be considered 2 years old before you’re actually 2 weeks old. So when a child tells you they are 6 years old, all you know is that they are in fact between 4-5 years old. Makes sense.
My youngest class is made up entirely of “14-year olds", but some of them might actually be 12! Wouldn’t it be helpful for the teacher to know from a development standpoint which children may not be as advanced as others? Especially at such a young age?
Maybe there’s a rational explanation for this system but I’ve yet to hear one.
3) No street names
This one kills me. No street signs. All directions are given based on landmarks/buildings and addresses are based on blocks, districts and postal codes. My address at home is 507 Wizoom, Daehak Dong, Kwanak Gu But there’s a 113 on the outside of the building? I’ve been tempted to order a pizza but I have no idea how it’s ever going to get here.
I also read in one of the travel books I have that fax machines are popular amongst Koreans so that they fax over directions to each other so everyone knows where to go. I’ve had to ask some of the Korean teachers at my school for directions and unless they know the area and can describe landmarks, it’s a useless exercise. This place has more signs hanging everywhere than anywhere else I’ve been outside of Times Square. As for my excursion to my local Lotte? Yeah, well that could have been avoided with an address instead of a crappy map from their website. Would it kill them to name at least a few of the major streets and make everyone’s life a little easier?
So im off to the hip hop concert in Incheon but looks like we are about to get another day night of acid rain (the kind that destroys clothes!) If poison rain starts to fall, Im out of there.