The eight weeks since I last wrote have been a race against the clock as we close business at the yard office. The hard work while making me a poor correspondent did thankfully result in my clearing my desk punctually. Yesterday the office door was closed for the final time and we few remaining members of the site team bid farewell to Samsung shipyard and to each other.
Next stop Norway and a return to the Oslo office. After two years in Korea there was a lot to sort out first though.
Last Wednesday I experienced professional house packers at work for the first time and they certainly were impressive. Four men arrived with flat-packed cardboard boxes and left a near-empty flat behind them an hour and a half later. Getting it all out of the boxes again will take us far longer.
Yesterday was striking demonstration of how efficient things can be in Korea. In the course of the day we:
– Visited a government office to certify cancellation of ownership of two motorbikes
– Visited City Hall to register two name stamps as official forms of signature
– Opened two bank accounts (joint accounts are not readily offered in Korea it seems)
– Completed paperwork to sell a motorbike via one dealer
– Sold the other motorbike to an other dealer
– Sold our car to a third dealer
All was completed with the minimum of fuss and I can not imagine how I might achieve all that so quickly in London let alone anywhere else. Even the background action was fast. The bike was paid for by electronic transfer and the car in cash. I deposited the cash at the bank and found that the transfer had already completed within a couple of hours.
At time of writing I am air-side at Incheon Airport, Seoul and pausing a moment to consider the last couple of years. It has been a whirlwind time and the fuller effects of my stay in Korea will take a while to sink in but living here has certainly been enjoyable and educational. I will miss the very fresh food that is so prevalent here (ranging from vegetables with earth and nobbles on to sea life that still moves on the plate) but I will not miss the local beer. I will warmly remember the old fashioned good courtesy that seem ingrained in so many Korean people but I am less concerned about leaving the TV-screen-on-every-surface culture that the nation’s leading modern technology has provided.
This country has a lot to offer and I would recommend anyone offered the chance to visit to accept it. I will happily return here should the opportunity arise and visitors will be welcome.