log: mad in a bank

벌레 일지 WORMDATE: L4: 1,709 – 257,110: 5 – 2,308: 57.7 %-32.7 %

Mad in a bank is a specific feeling. Probably a pretty common one too. At some time, most people will enter a bank in a pretty cheerful and friendly mood only to exit that same bank mere minutes later ready to become a bomb-throwing anarchist. It’s not a great mood, nor one to be particularly proud of, but it is a mood that I’ve had ample time to experience over the last few days. Reason being, I’ve had to open a checking account. It’s taken three days.

I would like to say that South Korea has a particularly onerous amount of paperwork and whatnot to do when opening an account as a foreigner. That may be true. But, honestly, I went through the same thing when I moved to America. There, in the credit union, I had pleasure of having The Patriot Act quoted at me. At least, in Korea, they don’t feed you candies and refreshments like you’re at a child’s pop and chips party while they’re putting you through it. That infantilizing shit just adds another layer of humiliation to the process of being refused a basic account. It’s like, motherfucker, I do not require another chunk of hardened sugar to suck on, I require a basic checking account. Having said that, I did eat all the candy I could get my hands on because, well, free candy. I’m not a monster.

Not that you would know that from the banks. I do understand that my finances appear a little shady at the best of times. I’ve conducted most of my fiscal life in cash, in other people’s names, and off the books. Like, I didn’t even have a credit rating until I was 40 and I’m actually not sure if I have one yet. This has been excellent for getting deals on suits. In terms of dealing with respectable financial institutions? Much less excellent.

Anyway, first bank I tried here, after some fuckery, I was roundly refused an account. It’s hard to say why. My Korean is adequate for buying a squid but I’m not quite ready to discuss banking regulations. And this sort of muteness totally disarms me.

Hard as it may be to believe, charm is one of my primary tools. Like, I can talk my way through, around, and into a lot of things. I mean, that’s how I eventually got set up with an American account — once I understood their angles. But you take my ability to bullshit away? And judge me on my merits? Or my paperwork? Yikes! I am fucked! So very very fucked. Just totally fucked.

At any rate, I left that bank a feeling demeaned and a little angry. I didn’t throw a tantrum or anything, I generally avoid that, but I was screw-faced. More so than usual even.

I had better luck at the next bank I tried. They had a translation service. Seems the issue is a problem with wire fraud. Now, I don’t even know how to commit wire fraud. But I do know this — I am a great believer in a very simple guiding principle: Never commit a misdemeanor while you’re committing a felony. This principle, like if you’re going to hang for stealing a sheep, you might as well shag it too, is part of the ancient wisdom my Nan passed down to me. This is the shit I live by. So, like, if I was interested in committing wire fraud, you can be damn sure my paperwork would be in much better order when trying to open a checking account. Like, if I was trying to commit some crimes, every single other part of my shit would be above reproach. It would be impeccable. That’s how you get away with the crimes!

Security. Swear to Satan, security has to be about the daftest enterprise humanity has ever embarked upon. Most the time, it just inconveniences the innocent while increasing opportunities for the guilty. Locks slow down everyone except criminals.

But anyway, this bank agreed to let me open an account, provided I provide more paperwork. This meant a trip to the phone company to get 3 bills. A trip back to the bank to give them these 3 bills. Turns out, they need 3 different bills –like bills for different things– instead of 3 bills with my name on them. So that was a walk up the mountain to find the bills, which are in my wife’s name, then a walk back down the mountain to bring these in.

And that worked. However, this last appointment was taking so long that I caused a traffic jam in the bank (미안해요!) and had to be shuttled upstairs to a special desk. Upstairs, it was about two hours of being interviewed and filling out forms. I was in the bank until half an hour past closing time. But this time I didn’t leave mad. I had acquired a checking account.

Cute bankbook tho

What I did not acquire was an ability to actually access said account. I have to head in again on Tuesday to get an ATM card. Hopefully, that will go okay.

은행 계좌를 개설하는 것은 쉽지 않습니다.

Aside from all that . . .

Things are going pretty well. The numbers remain high and we’re still under Level 4 but my first vaccine appointment is coming up. It does, however, look like there might be a strike by healthcare workers this week and I’m not sure how or if that will impact my appointment.

School is progressing though I wish this module would hurry up and open up. I get a bit bored of waiting. Wife and I have gone on some lovely late-night walks.

We got caught in the rain without umbrellas on one of theses walks. It was very romantic. It would be nice if, one day, humans could figure out a way of being romantic while remaining dry but, so far, that seems basically beyond our capabilities. Dream the impossible dream, I suppose.

And finally . . .

Know I’m late to post about this, here at least, but Lee Scratch Perry, The Upsetter himself, died. The crazy thing is, for about a week before his death, I’d broken out my headphones again and had him on steady rotation thinking, man, I really should share some of this before he dies because, well, he has pretty much got to die soon. Then, before I could be arsed to get around to that, he up and fucking died. Upsetter, indeed.

This guy was one of my favorite musicians for a long time. Probably still is. Like, if I had to rank people, he would be up there. Waaaaaaay up there. Like outside the stratosphere, outside of low Earth orbit, up there where there is no up. He’d be in space. A fucking astronaut. He was a fucking monster who birthed monsters.

He was 85, lived what seemed to be a pretty great life, and was incredibly prolific and influential, leaving behind a fucking incredible body of work and his stamp and influence on a lot besides, and it’s not like I knew him, so it’s hard to be all that broken up about his death, but he was a fucking giant. On the occasion of his death, some sort of tribute seems fitting. He really was one of the all time greats. People like him do not come around every day. Always sad to lose one. There won’t be another.

So, if you don’t know him –and I don’t see how that is really possible– maybe take some time to learn about him and go through his catalog. If you do know him, you know what to do and have probably already done it. Get out the headphones or hi-fi and, er, whatever else you believe is appropriate, turn up the volume, you need this shit LOUD, and send his ghost off in good form.


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