Saturday night Julianne and I headed out to get some dinner and while walking back to my apartment Julianne either lost or had her wallet stolen–we’re not exactly sure what happened.
There was someone who bumped into Julianne while we were walking through a really busy part of Hyehwa area with all the university students and shoppers so this person might have taken her wallet then . . . it’s also possible that it somehow was dropped as the wallet is also kind of like a hand purse thing that women carry . . . we’re really not sure what happened.
When Julianne realized she didn’t have her wallet we immediately backtracked and looked all over the sidewalk for it. I didn’t think we had a chance of finding it because there are beggars and other individuals of ‘questionable character’ who frequent the area and unfortunately I was right. We also went back to the restaurant hoping that she’d somehow forgotten it there but had no luck.
At this point we realized we were in trouble on several fronts. Julianne had several different kinds of cards in her wallet and we were going to have to find a PC Bang (Internet Cafe) and make calls to her Korean bank, American bank, and credit card customer service centers to cancel everything and make sure no purchases had been made. Oh yeah, and then get these places to ship overseas to Korea her new cards.
The other big issue was that our apartment electronic lock’s batteries were out of power, and we’d been procrastinating changing the batteries for a few weeks. Instead of using the electronic key pad to get in and out of the apartment we were just using our keys. The problem was that Saturday night I left my keys inside the apartment, and yep, Julianne’s key was inside her wallet–and gone. I also hadn’t brought my own cards with me . . . it’s just a habit I have of not bringing unnecessary things with me when I go out. If you don’t have it with you you can’t lose it, right? Well, losing it is ONLY ONE PROBLEM and I think from now on I’ll be adopting a different habit!
We decided that we’d go take care of calling the banks and credit card centers first, and worry about where we’d be sleeping after that was taken care of. Luckily I had about 30,000 won in my pocket so we were able to pay for using the computer and Internet at the PC Bang.
After finishing all the phone calls through Skype I began doing an inventory of what I had in my pockets and realized I actually had my credit card wrapped up in a receipt from a purchase I had made earlier that day. We decided to go stay in a hotel near my apartment so that if my co-teacher was able to get the building manager to open my apartment then we’d be close by, and worse case scenario if we had to call a locksmith we’d also be close.
We could have gone to stay in Julianne’s apartment but the air conditioning doesn’t work very well, there’s no TV, no Internet, and she only has a twin size bed which means one of us sleeps on the Korean style sleeping mat on the floor . . . the comforts of a hotel won quite easily, lol.
Inside the hotel suite we enjoyed the room’s size a lot–it was actually bigger than my shoebox apartment! Also, right now I don’t have a couch in my apartment so it was nice for Julianne and I to sit together on the couch the hotel room had while watching its big screen TV.
Later, I noticed this while sitting and watching TV . . .
Seeing a rope kit inside a hotel room is nothing unusual for me as I saw one of these my first night in Korea back in 2005 (ropes are ‘substitutes’ for fire escape ladders, yeah, lol). What was unusual was that the kit was in a TWELFTH STORY hotel room! LOL! Seriously?! What’s the point? The only thing I could think of was that if your floor is on fire, or you can’t get out of your room for whatever reason, then you’d go out the window and down to a slightly lower floor room and somehow get in through a window there and then go down the stairs the rest of the 10 or so floors that the rope is unable to take you due to its limited length . . .
I decided to check and see if the room had one of the steel hoop bases drilled into the wall by the window that you’re supposed to secure the rope to–nope, nothing. Even if I wanted to use this rope to escape to a lower level window and room there was nothing by the window that I could have anchored the rope to . . . nice. (Also, the odds of this rope being able to support my weight beyond 10 feet or so of height . . . yeah, I don’t think so, lol.)
Anyways, Julianne and I ended up spending Saturday night and Sunday night in the hotel because the apartment building manager doesn’t work on weekends (even if there’s an emergency) and my co-teacher said it would be hard to get a locksmith to come on a Sunday (whether or not this is true, I don’t know). We had a nice time and enjoyed the huge king size bed; seriously, it felt like it should be called ’emperor’ size bed or something after being used to sleeping on a queen size mattress!
Finally, Monday morning my co-teacher calls me to say the locksmith can come at 10:00am–cool. We go back to my apartment and wait for him to arrive.
The building manager and locksmith step out of the elevator and walk over to where Julianne and I are waiting in front of the apartment. I expect the locksmith to have some kind of cool lock picking device that looks like it comes out of a spy film . . . and instead I see him pick up a large drill and load a pretty thick drill bit into it and ram it into the lock’s opening–wow, lol.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get my camera up and shooting fast enough to get a shot of him drilling the hell out of the lock . . . after about a minute of drilling he then proceeded to use a screwdriver to finish the job.
All of this ends with me sitting here back in my apartment while Julianne heads off to immigration to get a new alien registration card because without that she can’t go to her bank and get a new bank card.
What a weekend . . .