Well, let’s see if I can summarize my trip so far:
- Woori Bank cards are useless and screwy, and actually dealing with Woori Bank on the phone while overseas takes WAY too long. I think I’m going to focus on dealing with another bank when I get back to Korea.
- I saw a lot of old friends. Jean-Louis and Christine in Quebec City, and Astrid and Ann in Montreal, and Mike in Toronto. Seeing my old friends was good for me in a way I can’t explain in brief.
- I saw Annie and her new husband, Martin, and it was good to spend a few days with them in Waterloo. They’re good people…
- I’ve also met a lot of internet friends for the first time, including Kat Feete in Waterloo, and Marvin and Keisha, with whom I’m staying in Austin, and Adam Lipscomb and Melissa who are also Austinites. I’m also going to meet Julia during this trip.
- Adam’s 4th of July barbecue was fun; good food, conversation; I learned a lot about Steve Jackson Games and also just hung out.
- I’ve been an idiot as far as tourists go. I forgot to bring my camera to Adam’s party, and I also forgot to take pictures of Jean-Louis, Christine, and their baby Leo when I stayed with them overnight in Quebec. I felt like an idiot about that, but I guess I’ll see Adam and Melissa again this week, and Jean-Louis promised to send a couple of scanned pics.
- I saw a great blues-night jam session at an apparently famous Austin blues bar called Antones. I saw, among other great musicians, Robben Ford, Eric Johnson, and Frosty (a drummer who reminds me of Archie Bunker).
- A bank machine ate my Korean bank card. This is, yes, quite distressing. I shall arise early in the morning and call in to beg that they give it back, since I won’t be able to have Woori Bank in Seoul send me a card in time. It should be quite easily possible for the bank to give me back my card, but of course there’s always a possibility that it’s more complicated than that. It would be stupid, but it’s possible. I don’t know why the card got eaten, but the machine tried to eject it twice and then gave up and informed me that the card had been retained and I should contact my financial institution. Which is no good to me, so I shall simply have to pester the bank in the hopes of them returning to me. For now, I think I’d better sleep instead of freaking out about it… Man, what a pain in the ass!
Well, that’s about it. I’ll update as to whether the bank gives me back my card or not, as soon as I find out what’s gonna happen. *shrug* Nothing more I can do till then.
The lesson I’ve learned, by the way, is this: ALWAYS book your plane ticket for the day after payday, so you can go and get some travelers’ checks. Of course, I would have done that this time if I could have, but it would have meant arriving in Canada, jetlagged, the day before my sister’s wedding. But in future, I will ALWAYS have some travelers’ checks shoved into my bag somewhere, in case… if not (preferably) the full funds of my vacation budget. Dealing with the vagaries of bank machines working across international lines is not on my list of fun ways to spend a vacation.