Friday, February 6, 2015

Shopping: - Haul and Review

I recently tried a new online shopping site and thought I would share the experience here. I love online shopping so it's great to find new places to shop. 

There are two websites that are part of one larger company the first one is and the subsidiary is does the bigger items like clothing, sports gear and wedding things and covers things like gadgets and accessories. The stores are based in China but have a very good English site. There are also many other languages on offer; I don't know how good they are but if the English one is any indication, they should be fine.

The great thing for me is that they ship to South Korea, the price for shipping is very reasonable and they often have deals so I actually ended up not having to pay for shipping. I made my order just a bit before Christmas so was able to take advantage of their holiday deals.

Below are the purchases I made, links to the pages on the site and some thoughts on the items:

Swan Shaped Teaspoon Tea Strainer (Random Color)
Price: USD 0.99 , KRW 1,218

A cute swan shaped tea strainer. Ordered for a gift, it was super cheap. Looks nice, I got the white one it also comes in black but you can't choose your color. I was wondering if it might stain but I don't think it really matters at that price.

Price: USD18.99, KRW 23,366

Pink and black full slip case for my iPad Mini. I already have one of these cases that you slip the device inside and it protects it well. I decided I needed an update but they can be hard to find, most are just the half shell inside the case. This is really nice, it looks great and protects the iPad well.

Cat Pattern Glow in the Dark Hard Case for Samsung Galaxy S5
Price: USD 2.99, KRW 3679

A cute plastic case for my phone. It's glow in the dark so I thought it would be good for when my phone is in my bag and I cant' find it. Super cute and very cheap.

Price: USD 8.99, KRW 11,062

Cute cat design case for my phone. This one is the shell inside the flip case. The cat design is like the 'Cheshire Cat' and is really pretty. This is the one I am using on my phone at the moment and it looks great. The only thing I would say about it is the plastic on the shell is not that durable. I have it in my handbag a lot and it gets bumped around. So far it has a couple of cracks in it from just about two months of use.

Hollow Design Pattern Hard Case for Samsung Galaxy S5
Price: USD 3.99, KRW 4,909

Another cute case for my phone, I thought this one was really pretty so I added it to my order. At this price, why not?

Fashion Cherry Strands Necklace
Price: USD 7.99, KRW 9,831

Really pretty necklace, another one that I just ordered to see what it was like. I was very happy with it. It's quite long and the color of the beads is a really nice pink/red.

Price: USD 2.99, KRW 3,679

I ordered this one as another gift like the tea strainer. I thought it looked like a cute gift for my tea drinking relative. The problem was that it's a random color and as you can see I got this boring brown one. On the picture there were lots of colors of lids but none of them were this color and then they all had different colored teapots. One of them had the brown color but I thought that it would be Okay if the lid was a nice blue or green or pink. I mentioned this in my review on the website and the seller must have notified them because I got a email back shortly about 'my complaint'. Which it was not really, just an honest review. Anyway they ended up reimbursing me and asking me to update my review accordingly. I thought that was a bit weird, reviews are supposed to be honest and a refund does not change the product. I did update it, but with an added bit about how the nice customer service people were 'on to it' and sorted out a refund very quickly. 

I think I did pretty well on my orders, there was only the one that I was not exactly happy with but it was just a small thing. I really like the website as it is easy to search and navigate. I would recommend them to anyone looking for small gifts and fun items and I will proably buy from them again in the future.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015 Everyone. I know it's a little late but as they say 'better late than never'. 

I hope everyone had a happy holidays and new years. 

My new years resolution is to try and write more; but I'm not optimistic. I know how easy it is to get waylaid by life. The only thing I can do is try so perhaps the resolution should be to try harder instead. We shall see how it goes for 2015. 

All the best,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Live Music in Seoul - Hongdae, Club Spot (25/10/2014)

Last Saturday I finally made it out to another gig. I have not been in a very long time. It was the last event at one of the punk venue staples in Seoul - Club Spot. I've been there a couple of time before so I really wanted to go to this last show before they closed the doors for good.

The event was 'Still Alive VI: The Death of Club Spot' and was a Halloween inspired show. They had a huge line up starting from 6pm. I got there a bit late about 8.45pm I think so I missed the first few. I arrived about halfway through Burning Hepburn's set. They weren't bad, very peppy sounding. Whatever That Means... were pretty good. There were a lot of bands on, some of them I was not sure who they were.  The last two were the best of course, they are the headliners - Rux who I have seen before. They have a great sound. The last band was Crying Nut. They are one of the oldest and most successful alternative bands in the Korean music scene. 

I had a really great time, everyone is very friendly at these events. I didn't know that many people but ended up meeting lots. Sad that a venue that has supported the underground punk scene for many years has to close but nothing is forever and it had a good run. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Groove Article - Korean Punk Struggles Forward

I just read an interesting article in Groove Korea Magazine about the Punk scene in Korea.

I thought I would share the link with you here

The article is called Korean Punk Struggles Forward and is written by Dave Hazzan. 

Happy Reading!

Also it mentions this in the article so I thought I would reiterate here. The last show at the punk venue Club Spot will be on this Saturday 25th October. The club is closing down so if you have never been to a show in Korea this would be one to come to. Don't miss out.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Korea in the News #9

A fire at the Goyang Bus Terminal has killed 5 and injured around 20 others today. This is very close to home as Goyang is the city where I live. Initial reports had the death toll at 7 but this has been changed to 5 as two were apparently revived with CPR. Links to some of the reports are below if you want more information.

Fire at South Korean bus terminal kills 7

Disaster agency corrects death toll from 7 to 5

Goyang Immigration Office

It is that time of year again when I had to go and renew my visa. 

It's the first time I have had to do it here in Ilsan however I had been to the immigration office when I first moved here. Whenever you move you have to register your new address within about two weeks of moving. The immigration office has moved since then so I though I would do this post and show the new location and how to get there. I did notice online that there is not a lot of information about the Goyang Immigration Office, I am not sure if I was searching the wrong name or what but luckily the Facebook community had some information on the change of address. It was a bit confusing as the office has not moved far, it is basically just opposite a few blocks of where it used to be.

The Goyang Immigration Office is nowhere near as busy as the Suwon one, I find that you don't really need to make an appointment and the waiting time was about 5 to 10 minutes (not hours like in Suwon), so that was nice.

When you get to the office you can take a form and fill it out (you can also download these from the Immigration website to make things quicker if you like), make sure you get your revenue stamps* and then get a ticket number (for the queue) from the machine just inside the main doors. It's a big touch screen computer (you can't miss it) and you want the middle option (residence) if you are renewing your visa or for basically any such visa processes.

Getting There:
The Goyang Immigration office is located on the orange line (number 6) at Hwajeong Station.

At Hwajeong Station come out of Exit 4, cross the road opposite you (so you are outside Yankee Candle and then turn left and walk up the street a little bit until you come to an alley on your right.
View as you come out of Exit 4 (Hwajeong Station)
Go through this little side street
Go through this side street and turn towards your left when you come out - you will now be able to see the building you need. It's the big grey new building on the corner.
When you come out of the side street (the grey building is your destination)

Cross the road - there is a crossing right as you come out of the alley. Walk to your left up and to the grey building, you will go past the parking entrance (pictured above) but the foot entrance is up further round the corner.

So keep walking to the corner and then round it to your right. Walk on a bit until you come to the entrance.
Main Entrance of Goyang Immigration Office (Level 5)
The Immigration office is on the 5th floor, go in the main doors and cross the lobby toward the reception desk and the elevators are off to the left of the reception desk.
Come out of the elevator and this will be on your left.
On the fifth floor when you come out of the elevators turn to your left and you will see the sign on the wall in the picture above, walk to that and you will be in another corridor and you need to go to your left again. From there you can see the office, it is on the right and has a big blue sign above the doors so you can't miss it.

What to Take:
There is also a few changes to what you need to take with you. It's quite a rigmarole if you don't know what you need. Lucky for me my school is a rather large company and has been through it all before so they gave me all the documents when I re-signed my contract. If you have all your documents then the process is really quite easy and only takes a few minutes.

Once they have confirmed all your documents they stamp the back of your ARC (Alien Residence Card) with the new date of your visa. They do it right there while you wait, it only takes a very short time and you can be on your way.

This is a list of all the things I needed, I know that some branches take more and some take less but this is what my school advised me of:

-Copy of contract (don't give them your original as you don't get this stuff back)
-Copy of passport
-Copy of ARC (Alien Residence Card)
-Copy of the school's Business Certificate
-Copy of the school's registration
-Copy of your housing contract (should have the same address as on your ARC card)
-a list of the teacher's at your school - the number of Korean Teachers, Native Teachers, classrooms and students at the school
-a timetable of the teachers at your school
-revenue stamp*

*Revenue Stamps - these are the payment for your visa and need to be obtained before you get to the desk to hand in your documents. They look like a postage stamp and usually you will be reimbursed the amount for these by your school so make sure you get a receipt). 

There will be a desk somewhere nearby the main area that sell these stamps. At the Goyang Immigration Office it is a door off to the right (of the main office and waiting area) that you go through that leads into a another room, the desk you need is the first one as you head into to the room almost directly in front of you a little off to the left. 

These desks only take cash so make sure you take some money with you, some branches might have ATM machines but I would not bet on it. Also note that the price has gone up, for me it was 30,000 won the last two times I have renewed my visa but this time it was 60,000 won. I have heard that the price depends on your country so it is something you should check before you go so that you have enough cash to cover it.

Further Information:
If you are not sure about what you need (or where to go if you live in a different area) then you can call the hotline - 1345 and follow the directions for English (or they do have options in other languages too) and you can ask any questions. They are very helpful.

Also the website for Korean Immigration can be found here. You can download application forms from here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Korea in the News #8

Korea is in the news again for another subway incident, a few weeks ago a subway crashed into the back of another subway that had broken down.

Today there was an explosion that has 'lightly injured' 11 people. See the link below for the full article.

This of course also comes after the ferry disaster that has gripped the nation since its sinking in April. Lets hope that bad things really do come in threes and this is the last of it.

Subway Explosion Lightly Injures 11 in South Korea