Torturous task, but you feel a real sense of accomplishment once it is finished.
I went to go get passport photos taken at a small photo shop where I had printed photos before, and where I had my artwork once scanned. However, upon arrival, I discovered that the place was no longer a photo shop, and was in fact a pharmacy in the making. Frustrated, I tooled around on my bike until I found a little place that had the HP logo and the word Photo somewhere in its title. They didn’t look open, and had a sign that seemed to say “Be back in 15.” I came back in 15 (after trying to explain what I wanted at the post office, which was clearly not the place to go) but the sign remained. So. Nothing.
A few days later, after talking to my boss (she was also quite surprised that the photo shop was gone), Kim teacher told me to go to the baby photo place on the 3rd (or 4th) floor. I went. It was also closed–pretty empty, but I wasn’t sure if it was closed for lunch or closed forever. So, infuriated, I just went to the bank and turned in all my coins. (60,000 won, baby!) That was one task completed. However, they couldn’t transfer my visa money because I didn’t have proper identification. (American ID doesn’t cut it, and Korean Immigration had my passport and Alien ID card.) She kept saying: “Use the atm.” And I tried to insist that I couldn’t do it that way, because I needed the BANK receipt. Sigh. Uber frustration.
So I met up with Kristen and Emily, ate delicious Vietnamese food, and then returned to the HP place. As it turns out, it was NOT closed, but that was the back door, soo… I walked in and he was there, and he could do it, and for only 10,000 won (for six of them!). I collected them today–and he gave me a “wallet size” as “service”, but it’s pretty silly because I’m not smiling, have my hair shoved back, and couldn’t care less about my appearance. But hey! It works.
So that’s one visa task down. Next week I need to send the money, call the courier, and actually send the materials in. Then, within the week, I should have a visa for India. That will save me a lot of worry trouble. In the mean time, I continue to research graduate schools, instead of researching India–and doing the reading I promised myself.
Currently working my way through “The Valley of the Assassins, and Other Persian Travels” by Freya Stark. It’s kind of… classic Romantic travel, though it is a little later than the Romantic Period. (1920s, I think.) Regardless of how I am SUPPOSED to feel as an academic about Romanticized travel, I do love it. She uses flourishy language, big words, and describes the women like they were in movies. It’s a delightful break from over-analyzing and the constant desire in the modern day to not offend anybody.
Trying to arrange some kind of Temple Stay in the next month, but it’s annoyingly difficult. Blah.