Helo welcom 2 my websight
Okay guys. I don’t mean to alarm you, but…things are getting pret-ty real all up over here.
Firstly, since my last update, I’ve finally received my D-4 Student Visa which means I’ll be able to apply for my Alien Registration Card when I arrive in Korea and start enjoying all the wonderful privileges those bring with them such as bank accounts, supermarket discount passes and, my personal favorite, mobile phone plans.
The procedure for it was surprisingly painless compared to what I had expected. Aside from the fact that I had to travel to The Hague twice to give them my documents and pick them up again (because obviously secure mail doesn’t exist, right?) there were no real problems and everything went off without a hitch. Even better – I wasn’t charged for any of it at all. How that worked exactly I have no idea, but I suppose NIIED paid the fees for me?
The whole health insurance fiasco has been taken care of as well. Well, as far as it’s possible to take care of it at this point at least. I checked in with the Korean insurance company, but it was very vague and the little information they could provide wasn’t especially reassuring. As I’ve heard from my girlfriend it’s actually standard practice in Korea that you always have to pay part of the costs of anything by yourself, even with the most expensive insurance out there, but as a Dutchman I really don’t like having to pay for every doctor’s visit and every medicine I get that costs less than 10 bucks. So I looked around for other options and ended up applying for insurance abroad at OOM Verzekeringen, which offers really great coverage for a fee much lower than even the crappiest insurance here in the Netherlands. It’s set to automatically become valid on the 25th, and it’s set up to leech money from my Dutch account, so it’s all good.
A little less good is the fact that I am forced to keep my basic health insurance in the Netherlands, which, as I explained in my previous post, means I will literally be paying €90 a month for absolutely nothing. Until January 1st that is, because at that time I will transfer to a super crummy insurance company that charges less that the €72 I will be receiving from the State every month. The coverage will be abysmal, and my own risk will be America-levels high, but it won’t matter because they will never cover anything abroad anyway.
I feel like the coverage OOM gives me for the smaller things like visiting a doctor, getting some medicine and even dentist visits combined with the coverage of the insurance NIIED is getting for me which covers bigger things like hospitalization and other pricey situations will be enough to feel as safe there as I do here.
More importantly (and this is like, not even just real but like TOTALLY FREAKING HAPPENING tier) NIIED has finally sent me my plane ticket. I actually e-mailed them about it about a week ago, pleading for them to pleasepleaseplease use Korean Air and not Asiana because the costs of bringing an extra bag would be $130 or $1000 respectively. I’m not even kidding. Asiana seriously charges you $45 per kilo.
So anyway, I received my plane ticket today, and was very relieved to see they had in fact picked Korean Air. When I looked up the flight online to see what they had paid (Yes, I’m that kind of person. I always look up stuff I bought online too to read about how awesome it is) I saw that it was probably only about €800, so that wasn’t as bad as I had expected. Then, however, I saw that the actual amount paid was also on my ticket. Are you ready for this?
Fare Amount: KRW 1916100
Tax/Fee/Charge: KRW 21800RN 2900VV 18000CJ
KRW 182500YR 1000YQ
Total Amount: KRW 2142300
That’s like freaking €1560 man!
I also noticed they had actually already booked this ticket in July, so at least I don’t have to feel guilty about asking them to spend this much money. Someone is probably pissy about my e-mail somewhere though because I haven’t received anything back..
Another hi-la-ri-ous thing about this ticket and, actually, Korean Air in general is that it was possible to pick your seat beforehand. I know that doesn’t sound very interesting, but bare with me. The Korean Air website is a behemoth from an earlier age where having websites that were half made up out of bulky, slowly loading flash elements was the norm and customer ease of use was a secondary worry. To select my seat, I had to make an account and apply for a Skypass. I hate making unnecessary accounts, but I don’t have any of those fancy airmiles cards and it was the only way to pick my seat so I thought why not. After logging in with my new account however, it turned out that your tickets have to be purchased under your Skypass account in order to manage them – you couldn’t add them manually. So I had to hang on the phone with some Indian guy for about 15 minutes to get my ticket to show up. Then when it finally did, it turned out I had access to all four Dutch people who would be joining the Korean Global Scholarship Program (if you are reading this, Wytse, Jasper and Michiel, ik heb me heel erg ingehouden en ons niet met z’n vieren bij elkaar gezet!) and could assign all of us seats. Which, of course, being the gentleman that I am, I didn’t.
Take a look at this hyper modern website though:
With this, basically everything has been taken care of, thank God. The only main things left are removing myself from the Personal Records Database and purchasing a short term travel insurance for when I board the plane. Also my freaking glasses have been annoying the hell out of me since about a month ago, so I’m desperately trying to get them in a comfortable shape before I leave. Such are my problems.
Also, in the spirit of things being pretty damn real, I already sorted my clothing into ‘will bring to Korea’ and ‘won’t bring to Korea’ piles. Pretty real right?