Waiting for my number

Until I get my foreign registration card, here are some of the things I can’t do:

  • Order internet service at my apartment
  • Sign up for a cell phone
  • Get a bank account
  • Access the ‘free internet’ at Starbucks

It seems strange to me that being here three weeks, without that card, my only option is to wait.

In contrast, I recall in 2007 when I had a 14-hour layover in Burkina Faso in West Africa, I was able to buy a SIM card for about $10 and credit for another $5, stick it in my phone, and instantly had cell phone service

I got a glimpse of this uneasy dance of efficiency and control, before I came. I was booking my train tickets online, from the States. On one hand, it’s wonderfully cool that you can easily get from Seoul to Busan to Daejeon by fast trains, affordably, and buy the tickets online. But, in order to do so,  I had to install a digital ‘real name’ verification program on my computer. And I had to provide my country and passport number. Koreans are required the same steps, using their ID number.

Until I get my foreign registration card, there are many things I can’t do:

Get internet service at my apartment

Get a cell phone

Get a bank account

It seems strange to me that being here three weeks, without that card, my only option is to wait.

In contrast, I recall in 2007 when I had a 14-hour layover in Burkina Faso in West Africa, I was able to buy a SIM card for about $10 and credit for another $5, stick it in my phone, and instantly had cell phone service

I got a glimpse of this uneasy dance of efficiency and control, before I came. I was booking my train tickets online, from the States. On one hand, it’s wonderfully cool that you can easily get from Seoul to Busan to Daejeon by fast trains, affordably, and buy the tickets online. But, in order to do so,  I had to install a digital ‘real name’ verification program on my computer. And I had to provide my country and passport number. Koreans are required the same steps, using their ID number.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s