August 29-30, 2015We spent a couples’ weekend at King Pension...

August 29-30, 2015

May 23-25, 2015: Castle Braai CampDuring the Buddha’s birthday...

Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English attempt at all?

My previous employer was dodgy and bullying.  On completion of my contract, they refused to pay my pension or severance.  There were also several incidences of contract violation: denial of vacation, not being able to choose my apartment, etc.

Now, I've returned to Busan and made a complaint with the Labor Board regarding these issues.  It's taken over a month, but finally they seem to be doing something.  However, even though the forms I submitted online were in English, they've made no attempt to use the slightest bit of English in their replies to me.

I get long Korean legalese text messages and apparently I'm due to receive some certified mail today.  At least, that's what I've been able to discern from my dictionary.  Don't get me wrong, I can get by in Korean well enough... I pay my bills, I visit the bank, I order food, take taxis, etc.  Legal language is certainly not something I've studied.

A Pension in the Woods

For my stay in Damyang I went straight for a pension. Sure I could have saved a wad of cash by staying at a hotel or min-bak, but I wanted to treat myself to a kitchen, windows and space. After doing some research and with the help of a friend, I managed to find this nice pension not too far from the Bamboo Forest and bus stops.

Destination: Taean-gun (Chungcheongnam-do)

You won’t confuse this area of Chungcheongnam-do with an active, happening getaway. That said, a night in a pension may be the cure for what ails you. The word pension implies a retiree’s monthly income, but can also refer to a family-owned guest houses not unlike a summer cottage or a bed-and-breakfast (without the breakfast, however). They’re a pleasant shift from a cheap love motel, albeit at a significantly higher price point. Thanks goes to an unnamed friend of Kiwi’s who had a reservation they ended up passing on to us.

How to Get the Best Contract

You are trudging dutifully through the rigorous, middle-of-the-night phone interviews, hoping to find a job at the end of that phone line. Finally, it happens. You are emailed within an hour with a contract. What to do? You want a job in South Korea, but you are not sure if it is the right job. How can you know if it is going to be a good job? Ultimately, the key to a great job and, perhaps, a great experience in Korea is your contract. In spite of the persistent emails you receive from recruiters, you must take your time to make a good decision.

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