Monthly Archives: September 2007

Biz Idea #7200: Publishing of Popular English Publications Abroad

Publications like Time and US News are WAY overpriced abroad. If people want to read them though, you have to pay double the price that’s paid at home despite all the profits they make off their advertisers.

If a company could set up a publishing house in countries where expatriates are of significant number, they could possibly publish all the main publications and books that are popular in the world in the local area and many people would be happy.  For example, TIME magazine costs 6500 won vs. the cover price in the states being $2 or$3 is hard to swallow.  The other option is to just look at it online, but there’s a lot of downtime on the trains, the buses, the subways, the airplanes and so it would be nice to have a hard copy format of these good or decent sources for news.  The problem is that you have to take out a mortgage every time you want it.  So, sometimes I just opt not to buy it.  I’m oh so close each time…the other sad thing is they make most of their profits from the advertisers anyway…so why do they need to charge so much abroad?

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Carpe Diem may be Latin, but it certainly feels Korean

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I was reminded how Koreans love to play even into their adulthood. I was out with the Asst Director and one of the Office Managers of one of the Academies to send off a coworker who recently quit in the right way. Well, it was sort of a last minute gathering in the first place, but it still started off like atypical company dinner. Basically, everyone gets together after work and for us, that means at the earliest 10:30p. We eat until about a little after midnight and then its Phase #2 for he night. We call it “ee chah” or in Hangul 이차. Usually you go for drinks on top of your usual several bottles of soju you had at dinner when celebrating almost anything. We ended up going to some Japanese pub like place with Japanese appetizers and drinks like Sake and version of “flavored soju” which doesn’t have much alcohol — for me. I don’t drink, but they agreed to go to a place like this so I can indulge just a little. Continue reading

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Best deal out of college

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I’ve rarely met a person who’s worked in Korea for more than one year fail to pay back a significant amount of their student debt, save lots of money or send a decent amount of money home. I decided to do some calculations which explains why. Continue reading

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“Only in Korea”: Volume I, Chapter 1

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So, this Korean Thanksgiving 2007, a.k.a. Chuseok, we sometimes give presents to one another like we do in the states during Christmas. This year, my first gift was a gift that looked rom the wrapping possibly a dress shirt or maybe a set of ties. Well, I rip off the gift wrapping paper to find a box with Ginseng pictures all over it. Continue reading

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Giving while living…from Korea, from anywhere…

Can’t remembered if I posted this because it’s a been a little rough on the brain the past few days with unpaid overtime and just a bit too much stress which I can’t explain today, but may a little later. Nevertheless, we set up this Cancer fund for a coworker of mine. Basically, what happened was a teacher I manage indirectly — I manage her boss and her best friend here in Korea is another manager I manage — well, she got breast cancer or was diagnosed as having such just a couple weeks out of the blue. She went up to Seoul immediately after to figure out what to do & Continue reading

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Phone Technology in the Korean boonies

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As posted already, I took a trip to Kangwon Land this most recent (2007) Chuseok holiday. Getting to the actual resort area was a challenge and one of the cities I landed in before landing in the final destination was a city named Cheoram (철암). The Korail station attendants in Busan’s main station told me this was the best place to get off before taking another form of transportation (taxi or bus) to Kangwon Land. As written earlier, it was in the middle of podunk Korea. The buildings were as run down as I’ve seen in Korea’s worst shanty towns . Continue reading

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Too much computer access in South Korea?

So, in the middle of the country where it’s hard to find convenient transportation minus relatively expensive tax fare, I can find internet access anywhere.  At the hotel yesterday we stayed at, there were 7 computer terminals with T1 or better access.  Today, we just checked into a hotel where if you pay $10 more for a night, you get a room with a PC and internet access for free.  Again, I’m thinking it’s T1 or better access…

Plus, before we found this place, we had a rough time finding where Continue reading

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Life delivers some of the most unexpected surprises…we REALLY feel for our coworker

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I don’t know her that well, but she’s very good friends with one of my Head Instructors who I think is the nicest guy in the world — and I’m serious, but I don’t think I’ve met a more understanding and nicer guy in my life…

Anyway, his friend got breast cancer and won’t be able to finish her contract. The cancer has already spread throughout her body and she needs to get chemotherapy ASAP. Unfortunately, it kind of puts us in a bind at the company/Academies, but we’re going to deal with it as well as possible. We have even decided to set up a fund on her behalf where the company will donate the first 100,000 won and I’m personally planning to donate 100,000 won to match it and hopefully more people will step to the plate. Continue reading

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After staying one night in Kangwon land

I have to admit, I’m a bit impressed..

Despite the crazy start to the holiday (in the last post), the hotel that we’re staying at is impressive.  It’s not the main hotel here near the casino, but a little ways away.  I think it’s managed by the same company, but haven’t checked into it.  It would rival many 4 star hotels and some 5 star hotels that honestly shouldn’t be in that category.  I would personally give it 4 stars because to be at 5 stars you can’t do anything wrong. Continue reading

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On the way to Kangwon land

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So, I finally get to take off more than 12 hours of time from work for the first time in 4-5 months. I’m really looking forward to getting away. I decide to go to Kangwon land in the Northeast part of the country. It’s in the middle of nowhere from what I’ve heard and the train to get there is actually a transfer & definitely not a high speed train so it will take a minimum 5 hours to get there, but I’d rather do this than take a bus since either route up or down is at risk of a lot of traffic due to the Chuseok holiday. I’ve seen 5 hour drives turn into 14 hour rides. Continue reading

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Protected: Letting out some tears here in Busan, South Korea

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For rent: Very Modern Studio with a view of the valley in the Richest area of the 2nd biggest city in South Korea

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It blows my mind sometimes how cheap my rent is here in Busan, South Korea. I live in the 2nd largest city in South Korea — the 11th largest economy in the world (CIA World Factbook) — where the largest city in this populous country was ranked as the most expensive city to live in Asia & the 2nd in the world in 2006. Continue reading

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Protected: Planning on writing a few books; the titles are…

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Protected: What makes me cry…or almost made me cry today…

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Wanna be a stewardess? Get in (the long) line…

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chinese_stewardesses.jpg

A minute before noon on my only day off during the week (I don’t know how I go crazy with just one day off, but its o.k. for now), I surf from writing my latest post here to my Mozilla browser to see that I set my home page that it loads to iGoogle.com — Google’s “all in one” starting page which currently I have a calendar, the news from the Seattle Times and the times of the day visually shown to me on a satellite picture of the globe — identifying the places that have sunshine and those that do not. Below my second middle column, I have a Top Stories widget which had a headline reading “Former Fed chair Greenspan criticizes Bush in book” which caught my attention.

I surf and read the story, but I can’t help to see the above picture with all the applicants wanting to be a stewardess. It’s not because I find them attractive, which many probably would, but it’s the fact that I remember acknowledging many times that many women in Asia want these positions thinking they are “well paid” positions that allow people to travel throughout the world. The young Asian women that complete college or many smart women want to become servants on the Boeing and Airbus ships in the air. It’s one of the prized occupations they think about after finishing college.

While I don’t know the exact statistics in the states, but I find that American stewardesses rarely are the young and talented, but usually the old and bored. Many are men and the demographic profile differs extremely. It’s fascinating to me, at least how these women find asking “Would you like a drink” or “Would like Beef or Chicken?” as a prized occupation. I know of many of their loves to travel, but how about doing it as a consultant where you get paid more and don’t serve others as simply? Just a random thought from Korea…

p.s. The picture is about Chinese applicants, but the same dynamics lie here in Korea.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-09/16/content_6733132.htm

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