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Exchange rate watch

1 GBP = 1725.841 KRW
1 GBP = 1.1182 EUR
1 GBP = 1.5291 USD

Bonus Exchange Rate

1 GBP = 137.9281 JPY (Japanese yen)

The pound is at the weakest I’ve ever known it against the won – which is good for me (at least it would be if I transferred money to my UK account). Hopefully this will last for a while and I can move some of my ill-gotten gains into my savings account. (I haven’t been able to do this recently because you need pay statements, and, not working strictly in accordance with the law, I don’t have any pay statements for my new job yet. Soon, though, with any luck.)

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Categories: Employment, Money

A final word on Thailand

10 February 2010 Leave a comment

The week after coming back from Thailand was hard. It was one of those times when you need a holiday to recover from the holiday you’ve just had. It would’ve been great to’ve had more time there. If we travel again in the region I’d definitely like to see Angkor Wat.

Anyway. There was one little story from when we went to Chatuchak Market that I forgot to relate – and it was one of my favourite incidents from Thailand.

I like coins, and have a modest collection (in fact, because I simply enjoy collecting I have a few collections of coins; in addition to just collecting different foreign coins I also collect Korean 10 won coins (worth about half a penny) and old design 10, 50 and 100 won coins (the oldest of which is a 1966 10 won piece)). So, while I was in Thailand, I tried to get hold of a bunch different Thai coins. 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht pieces were very common (usually with one of two portraits of the king on one side) (£1 is about 55 baht). I knew that there were sub-baht denominations, but everything seemed to be priced in whole bahts.

While in Chatuchak Market Habiba and I needed to go to the bathroom. The various public toilets in the market – and remember, the place is huge – have an entry fee: I can’t recall the exact prices, but it was no more than 7 baht if you needed paper (less if not).

I went in, did my thing (I didn’t need paper) and came out. I could see Habiba just inside the doorway to the ladies’, still waiting for a cubicle. As she takes her time even if she doesn’t need to queue, I knew I had a bit of a wait ahead of me. I took advantage of the seating provided, presumably for just this eventuality.

But before I sat down I also noticed some small brazen coins on the attendants’ desk. After thinking it over for a minute, I decided I wouldn’t have a better chance to get some of these small demonination coins, so I asked (with hand gestures demonstrating the concepts of ‘half’and ‘small’) if I could change 1 baht for two half-baht coins (Wikipedia informs me that the baht is divided into 100 satang). They seemed very happy to oblige me.

Feeling good about the transaction, I sat down to examine the booty and resume my wait. A moment later one of the attendants came up to me with a clutch of tiny coins and gave them to me. I thanked them with enthusiasm (relatively speaking – you know me). The person (I can’t remember if they were male or female) had given me another two 50 satang and four 25 satang coins. I didn’t have any more change so I didn’t offer to give them 2 baht in return – and they didn’t seem to expect it.

That little episode made my day. (A day that was later unmade by China, but we won’t speak of that.)

Here is a selection of Thai coins, and a pound coin for comparison.

Categories: Money, Travel

Exchange rate watch

1 GBP = 1,879.6835 KRW
1 GBP = 1.1273 EUR
1 GBP = 1.615 USD

2,615,000 KRW = 1,391.1917 GBP

Bonus Exchange Rate

1 GBP = 53.7468 THB (Thai baht)
1 USD = 33.28 THB
1 THB = 34.973 KRW

Categories: Money

생명 (‘saengmyeong’ – ‘life’)

It seems like there are three main elements of my life at the moment – Habiba, work and illness.

After having taken a new course of steroids (starting at six pills per day and slowly coming down to four a day now) my bowels are slowly returning to normality (whatever that means). A few weeks ago I needed to use the bathroom almost on a half-hourly basis. Pretty exhausting. Now, I just need to go a few times in the morning and a few times in the evening. Once I’ve taken my medicine after breakfast my guts remain stable (although not always comfortable) for a good chunk of the day.

For the last two weeks I’ve been working 8:30 to 4:40 Monday to Friday and 8:30 to 12:10 on Saturdays. Despite this, the summer intensive classes haven’t been too bad – I don’t have any really terrible classes, although they’re not all great. I haven’t been feeling too tired at work, but I haven’t been 100% awake much of the time.

I should have been paid my bonus of ₩2,300,000 with my July packet, along with a raise of ₩100,000. Neither materialised. When I told our boss, Sharon, about it she seemed annoyed that I’d brought this to her attention. Then she explained that the person who did the accounts at E-Castle had left without telling the Ginius people about my pay arrangements. It seems like a pathetic excuse, but she said they’d sort it out next week. I’ll see if it’s happened by Wednesday. If not, first I need to talk to someone and see what they tell me. If I get fobbed off again I should think about getting some legal representation and taking my case to the Labor Office.

The atmosphere at work – especially around me, it seems – hasn’t been too good lately. A few weeks ago there was a meeting – apparently to introduce the different staff members to each other. No one explained what was going on to the foreign staff (or at least to me), and no translations were provided. I probably didn’t make a good impression when I introduced myself: ‘I’m Sean. I from the UK…. I’m finished.’ A couple of weeks ago there was a staff meal after work that I didn’t go to, preferring to spend time with Habiba. I slipped away without saying goodbye to anyone. Since about that time I’ve noticed a little less friendliness being directed at me.

I suppose I’m not really that bothered about it, but – along with the pay issue – it makes Habiba’s suggestion of coming to work with her much more appealing. So much so, that I’m seriously thinking about applying for a job at her place starting in March (the start of the Korean academic year). The main problem for me is the hours – Habiba works something like 9:20 to 5:40 daily. I know that doesn’t sound bad, but afternoon/evening working hours are a major part of the attraction of teaching English in Korea.

Habiba is away on holiday in Montréal this week. She’s been looking forward to this trip – for the whole of this year, it seems. I hope she has a good time over there – the way she’s been talking about it makes me a little jealous. My own vacation starts in two weeks’ time, though. Then it’ll be back to a normal schedule for the rest of the year.

Exchange rate watch

1 GBP = 2056.9173 KRW
1 GBP = 1.1735 EUR
1 GBP = 1.645 USD

2,300,000 KRW = 1118.1782 GBP

Bonus Exchange Rate

1 GBP = 1.1377 pounds of copper (XCP)

Categories: Money

Exchange rate watch

1 GBP = 2010.8367 KRW
1 GBP = 1.141 EUR
1 GBP = 1.5936 USD

2,300,000 KRW = 1143.0745 GBP

Bonus Exchange Rate

1 GBP = 72.9084 Bhutanese ngultrum

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Categories: Money

Exchange rate watch

1 GBP = 1937.3162 KRW
1 GBP = 1.1353 EUR
1 GBP = 1.5477 USD

2,300,000 KRW = 1187.2094 GBP

Bonus Exchange Rate

1 GBP = 348.2433 Icelandic kronur (singular: krona) ISK

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Categories: Money