Onward to Seoul, again

Which must mean that once again, our visas are about to expire. Apparently it’s gotten a lot harder than it used to since the Olympics for someone to get a F or Z visa. The F is the “foreigner in the country but looking for work” visa that would have let us stay for up to a year without having to leave. The Z is the “foreigner in the country actually working” that would, and hopefully will, let us stay for up to two years without having to leave. And it’s the appropriate one to have. Although it seems quite likely now that Maria may even get a student visa through her MBA program, but best not to give up any current pursuits in case anything else falls through.

But, like the title says, it means we’re off to Seoul, again, tomorrow, for even less time than last; we leave Thursday, come back Friday. The tightness of the travel schedule had originally been to accommodate an activity the IFC was going to participate in. They had been asked to perform on Beijing TV, nationally broadcast no less, but the BTV people wanted a large showing of foreigners, and what with it being the holiday season and all the IFC just couldn’t scrounge up enough singers, though of course I signed up since I have no life and no reason to leave, though I kind of do actually; it’ll be nice to get to go to Bangkok. Either way, they cancelled on me last week, after I’d already gotten our airplane tickets, so what can you do.

Since we’ve been there before though, we’re kind of nixing the whole “tourist in Korea” thing and opted to stay in a hotel real close to the airport and will just camp there. It should be fine; Maria managed to find a very nice looking place for a good price. Hopefully we won’t have to run this whole gamut again, and the only thing we’ll have to do is leave the country so we can enter on our working visas. Though that in and of itself may be difficult as the process seems to be, as mentioned before, much more difficult than before, and we will most likely need to return to the States of all places to get it.

So it used to be easy, very easy. There’s a whole long list of things you need to apply for one, ranging from a translated resume, a translated offer letter, and the offer letter needs to be for a “fancy” position signed by a “fancy” executive of the company inviting you. Oh, your resume needs to be “fancy” too so it seems justified that your skills are needed. All these things in the past used to just be for show but apparently someone actually looks at it nowadays. They want our ORIGINAL college degrees (pain in the ass), and they need actual signed work verification letters from EVERY employer on your resume. Can’t be emailed, can’t be faxed, can’t be copied; needs to be the actual damned thing. So we’re left in the position where ok, I’ve a lot of employers on my resume so that it can be “fancy,” but I don’t want to track down all of them and ask them for this silly work verification letter. Sigh. On top of all this there’s a health inspection that we needed to have done, and have; thankfully that was relatively painless, and it’s convenient to know we’re healthy, though it was expensive for just a sheet of paper. And they really go over board with the health inspection! They took lots of blood, did an EKG, did an ultrasound, took an x-ray, checked your hearing, vision, general physical health. Sigh, again. It’s in process is the point. A long process.

Ugh and it’s gonna be so expensive to have to leave the country this many times! There’s Miguel’s wedding, there’s Kelly’s wedding, and some time between the two there’s the last time we have to leave the country back to the States to get our working visas. It’s actually I just don’t want to go to the States heh. And I’m sick again damnit. This city has been very cold lately, so business also sucks. Heh and I haven’t had time to blog so I’m doing it now.

Business is actually alright. It’s surprising but for a restaurant in China to be profitable it just needs to make 1500RMB a day. That’s just over 200$. It sounds small, but when you’re only charging 30RMB per dish, you’d need to serve 50 people at least, per day, which given how cold it is, is no mean feat. Ah either way.


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