Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An 은행 and an Update

Less than two years ago, I got tired of trying to constantly spend down the coinage that would accumulate on the little shelf that holds my wallet, keys, Concise Oxford English Dictionary (you know, the essentials), at which time I re-purposed a 1 kg. canister of mixed nuts.
Full of Korean coins, it weighed more than 1 kg., I can tell you--I can't tell you how much more because I neglected to weigh it.
Anyway, I carried it to the bank (은행) next door today, which in a happy coincidence has one of those coin sorting machines in the lobby--not all banks do, at least not for public use. And in fact, I wasn't allowed to use it; the bank guard did the honors, and not because I am a foreigner deemed incapable of such a complicated procedure, but because it actually was a complicated procedure.
About ten minutes later, he gave me a box full of rolled coins, which I then took to the teller and converted into folding money. My take: W160,310.
Not a huge amount, but particularly welcome at this juncture, as I am, in a word, skint: first, there was my trip to Japan; then I had to buy tickets to Atlanta for August (Leaving on August 9, returning August 19). The last straw, my computer died two weeks ago--I can't complain, except for the timing: I paid $650 for it, a Toshiba Satellite with a big, big screen, almost four years ago.
So I really had no choice but go over to Yongsan Technomart and buy a new computer, opting this time for a desktop model. I paid as little as I could get by with, and came home with a 20 inch LCD screen for W129,000 and a basic box for 300,00. For the geek contingent: 2GB RAM, Intel Celeron G530 @ 2.40 GHz, 64-bit, 250 GB HDD, Multi-DVD, running Windows 7 Ultimate (English). No webcam yet, so no Skype.

1 comment:

Chris said...

May I add some additional points based on my experiences trying to deposit coins?

1. For the record, one sour cream container (2 pints?) yields about 90,000 won.

2. I've ran into various policies at different branches about coins. This branch to branch variation seems to exist even within the same bank company. Even he bank headquarters doesn't know which branch is or is not equipped - you have to visit/call each individual branch to find out.

3. Some don't even have machines.

4. Some have them for public use, with or without assistance.

5. Some have them in the back for the staff to use.

6. Some machines require you to presort the coins.

7. Branches which have machines may not operate them every day ("The machine is so complicated, it needs several days of rest per week" - I kid you not).

8. And finally, I've never seen the paper rolls made available for the individual to pack his own coins - it's always done at the bank.

9. This is Korea. YMMV.