Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Won, wo won won won

I thought perhaps some of you would be interested in the money situation for teachers over here in Korea. It is, after all, a relatively significant contributing factor to why I decided to come here.
After pension and taxes and things, I make about 2,000,000 won a month, which, at the current very good exchange rate, equals 2,258.83 CAD. Damn, on Monday it was worth 2,300.00, the highest I've seen it, and I should have sent home a wire transfer. Ah well.

With that kind of monthly salary, plus a one month bonus and pension refund at the end, I should be making around 31,000 CAD this year. In Canada that would be hovering around the poverty line but you must remember that here I do not pay for rent or car insurance or any major expenses at all. All I am responsible for are a few bills which equal no more than seventy five bucks a month, plus food, entertainment, and extra travel.

I am consciously trying to save 1,ooo,ooo (that's a million) won from every paycheck so that I can leave here with fifteen Canadian grand. Perhaps I'll spend five of that travelling next summer and then blow the rest on who knows what the following year. Or invest in a condo. Or invest in something else. Or pay for tuition. Who knows. But it'll be a nice change to have more than three or four digits in my bank account.

As for costs of things, you can get away with spending very little here. A mandu dinner costs 2.8 Canadian dollars, and a bibimbap meal about three or four. A huge glass of beer, as long as it's local Cass or Hite, can be less than three bones. Oh, and of course you can opt for soju instead, purchased at the convenience store for just over a dollar and a half. Cheaper than water, they say. What kills ya is eating out at non-Korean places. Indian buffets, that Turkish place, etc. Oh, and Hongdae party nights where you pay for cover, drinks, and an expensive cab ride back to Suji. It's helped that we've befriended people with floor space in the city.

I spend most of my money on sending mail and peppero, buying food both from restaurants and grocery stores, and alcohol. And my flight to Thailand will set me back a bit too; at 600 dollars it leaves me with, technically speaking, four hundred dollars for the rest of the month of December. That is if I want to send home 1 million a month.

Oh, I also line my bed with chon won-rul.


At November 23, 2005 8:34 a.m. , Anonymous Carina said...

what is chon won-rul?

At November 23, 2005 8:51 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Thousand won bills!

At November 23, 2005 1:56 p.m. , Anonymous katie said...

that's pretty good money jess, best of luck with your saving! what spots pay the most?? middle east schools?

At November 25, 2005 8:16 p.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

I don't know. How much to middle east schools pay?


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