Thursday, June 25, 2009

Immigration, Legalization, Fortification...

Soon, Malachi and I hope to be legal.

Yesterday afternoon we went to Suwon (a neighboring city) to visit the Immigration Office. We had meticulously prepared for the the appointment... we thought. Upon presenting our documents and passports and forms and certificates, the kindly gentleman behind the counter indicated that, though he did not speak any English, he wished us to understand that we had it all wrong.

After much subdued gesticulation, he finally decided to rally his broken English skills and say "You needn't have filled out this form, you see. You are already a sojourner, and need only fill out this purple form indicating that you desire a change of status, thus enabling you to apply both for your F3 visa, and for your Alien Registration card."

Why he is working in an immigration office and not writing modern screenplays for Henry James' novels, I do not know. But we are grateful to him, and to the generous Korean government for putting us on the fast-track to legalization, and saving us multiple visits to the Immigration office. We now only await the return of our documentation and the arrival of our Alien Registration Card (which also means, library card!).

We were so relieved that we decided to be adventurous - and in the middle of the week noless. Suwon is a city with history dating back to the Silla dynasty, and they've preserved as public grounds massive portions of old palaces, watchposts, and, most interestingly, a long and winding fortress wall. We saw portions of it during our bus-ride, and wanted to see more.

We were fortunate - we happened to climb the mountain on the foresty side, and were therefore both surprised and pleased when we crossed at the top to the other side, and saw the view of Suwon city, the wall, and the temple below. I like to be jarred into view of something beautiful...

Our evening was completed by eating Curry Pizza, drinking coffee at a less-than-crowded coffee shop, and then attempting to amuse a screeching 1-year-old Malachi for the 1 1/2 hour bus ride home.

View pictures (of all but the screeching son-son) by clicking the thumbnail on the right.