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This is the styrofoam packaging that came with Brant’s much belated wedding gift. Okay, this isn’t Brant’s wedding gift itself. I bought it for myself and another one for him because we both have been wanting one of these. They just came in from America this week.

So, any guesses on what it is?

Please post them in the comments.

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Last Friday, I got the paperwork to give to Immigration for permission to do the TV show. They said it was routine. I just turn in these documents along with other documents I needed to provide myself (they gave me samples of those). They just mark my Alien Registration Card, and that’s it.

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I got all my documents together, including a letter of permission from my school, and went to Immigration Wednesday morning. After a thirty minute wait, Eun Jeong and I went up to the window and presented our documents. Our docs were in order, yet the official wasn’t sure if I qualified to work on a TV show. She said that E-2 visas, the English teaching visas, normally don’t do TV shows.

She thumbed through regulations books and eventually went to her supervisor. She came back and stated that a person with an E-2 visa can’t work on a TV show.

WHAT??

So you’re telling me that all the foreigners on TV have to be married to Koreans (F-2 visas) or have Korean heritage (F-4 visa)??

I told Dohee, the show’s writer, about this, and she freaked. Yet she assured me it would be taken care of. She gave me the number of one of the foreigners on another show, Bou. He said it was “bizarre” what Immigration did. He has worked on shows before and has gotten permission from Immigration on an E-2 visa.

This looks like another case of the rules changing depending on who you talk to at Immigration. We called two times before showing up there and were told two different things — and a third thing when we actually went there.

This little problem raised the hackles of lots of people because if the foreigners couldn’t get permission from Immigration, all the projects had to be canceled. The network took over my visa issue from there.

Thursday and Friday were a lot of going back and forth, giving information and sending documents to the network. The final thing they sent me to fill out was an application form from the Immigration web site.

Now, this is SO typical Immigration. The document they had on their web site for foreigners to fill out was in .hwp format. It can only be opened in the Haansoft Hangul word processor.

Never heard of it?

Of course you haven’t.

The only people with Hangul on their computers are native Korean speakers. It’s Microsoft Word for Koreans, even though I have seen many critiques on the internet that even Word is superior to Hangul. It has no problem writing in Korean, and Hangul’s features are five to ten years behind Word. The only reason it’s successful in Korea is that there was a nationalistic campaign to get Koreans to buy it.

And remember, if your product sucks, use shameless nationalism to get people to buy it.

So get this. Immigration has forms on their web site for foreigners that uses a program that foreigners don’t have.

I was up late, late, late working on solutions, trying to get the .hwp file to work on my computer. Friday morning, Dohee had a brilliant solution that I’m surprised I hadn’t thought of: go to a PC bang and do it from there.

PC bangs, Korean PC rooms, are all over the place and cheap. I walked down the street from the apartment to a little basement game room, got a card for a computer, and they had Hangul 2002SE. I filled out the form no problem and sent it back.

As of today, the network has all the papers ready for me. They’ve talked to Immigration to straighten it all out. I’m going to pick them up today and head back to Immigration on Monday.

So, have you guessed what Brant’s wedding gift is yet?

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