I'm picking out a thermos for you

Monday, July 03, 2006

More praise for that tiny place that may or may not actually be a country...

In Korea, there are certain items which are revered as status symbols: 1) a cool-looking t-shirt in English, 2) fragrant kimchi, and 3) the mobile phone. I already own many versions of #1, but as of today, I am also the proud owner of #3 - a mobile!

My own model is a rather worn, but fashionably slim, Anycall from (who else?) the chaebol Samsung, but I'm so proud to have it. A very gracious co-worker loaned me this phone that her husband used to use (presumably before he got an internet / TV / digital masseuse-enabled handset) and then she nicely accompanied me to the KTF store to help get it hooked up. Which was pretty painless, considering that I sat back and ate candy while she did all the discussing with the saleslady.

And the phone works - I can now communicate with the world, even in the depths of the subway! (Every cell phone here works everywhere in the subway, which never ceases to amaze me. I explained to my co-worker that most phones won't work in American or European subways, and she looked at me like I had just explained that we eat children for breakfast in America).

But what truly amazes me stems from an idea a friend in Korea gave me: SkypeIn. I'm starting to sound like a Luxembourghish pimp here (not that the Luxembourghish even own it anymore) but for $4/month, I purchased an American phone number from Skype (even got to choose an LA area code) and then had my calls forwarded to my Korean mobile. Presto! Someone in America can call me, Skype forwards the call to me in Korea, and I only get charged $0.07/minute! Now anyone can call me!

Well, more exactly, anyone that I like enough to actually give my new number to can call me. The rest of you still have to read the schlock I publish here.

(Long distance charges may apply)


  • Welcome to the new cyber age! My phone appears to be almost the same models as your... is it all in Korean like mine?
    I decided against SkypeIn... so I don't have people calling me at 4am here... but let me know how it works out for you.

    By Anonymous Eric, at 1:06 AM  

  • Menus in Korean? Hell yes! I have absolutely no idea how to use my phone, other than "Push the green button to call, push the red button to end."

    A coworker should me how to enter a phone number in the phone book, but now I can't seem to find the phone book!

    And I have no idea how to check my voicemail...

    By Blogger swimmerpie3331, at 7:34 PM  

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