Monday, March 28, 2016

Stop & Chat: March 25-28

Just a textual update. Friday was the first of M's 3 days off, and the last day I was going to be able to get my SOFA stamp on my passport. We left the house at 9, arrived at Osan City Hall at about 9:40, and got some incorrect directions via phone telling us to take Highway 1 South for another 20 minutes where we would find the air base.

First off, M was unable to  get back on 1, or missed a direction to get back on the highway. I directed him in the general direction 1 was going via map. I've learned that I absolutely hate how the Korean highway system works. There are too few entrances onto major highway systems. We drove around for an hour and a half before we decided to find the city hall again using Naver Maps - something that's entirely in Hangul but had successfully navigated us to the city hall just a few hours ago.

We were less than 200 meters from city hall when a large dump truck decided that it wanted in our lane and moved over. Our car didn't stand a chance and  got shoved 1/2 way into the lane to our right. There was a Korean behind us who happened to have a tow truck and know a little English. He stepped in immediately and started helping us, using M's phone to take pictures and explain to M what needed to be done. He helped tow our car to the side of the road and got in contact with the local police. M called his command to ask for advice, and they were... well, less than helpful. Apparently we were supposed to call the military police and have them come out with a Korean representative for us. Did we know that? No, not until we were talking with T yesterday and she asked about it. It's stressful dealing with an accident. It's even more stressful when there's a language barrier and you're missing out on a group of people that are supposed to be there to make the entire process much faster. As it was we were there for over 3 hours before we were able to leave the scene.

Dump truck driver's insurance representative recommended we take 50/50 settlement, where each party takes care of their own repairs. Uh, excuse me? This truck had a little ding in his front right bumper, whereas our car was absolutely wrecked. All because this guy couldn't be bothered to use one of the numerous mirrors installed on his vehicle to make sure he doesn't merge into someone... but oh wait that didn't stop him. Our insurance and M basically told them to fuck off (sorry, language, I know, but that pissed me off) and there's now an investigation going on. Unfortunately Korean laws still have 70/30 payout if one side is deemed to be at fault. The good thing is M had the foresight to go for full coverage for our car, as well as lower our deductible to $250 and accept the increase in our monthly insurance for that (less than $7/month). Now we're only out $250 and we are seeing whether the car will be repaired or deemed a total loss. We'll also find out who was deemed at fault. The good thing is I have a long enough history of no accident driving to qualify us for accident forgiveness should we be deemed at fault.

Once all of that was dealt with and the car was picked up to be towed to Yongsan, M and I hailed a cab to get to the air base. It was only ~2:15 in the afternoon, and we knew we had about two hours before the passport office closed.

We got in that accident less than 5 minutes away from the gates of the air base. That irked me so much. That we were so close the entire 3 hours we were standing there. That we were so close while we were running inside City Hall trying to get directions to a place that doesn't have very good directions online/in the Facebook groups/Naver Maps doesn't recognize.

Osan is a big base. We grabbed a cab from the gates to the building/air port terminal that we needed. There wasn't a line or anything. I walked up, handed my paperwork over, the woman looked over the paperwork, typed some stuff up, printed out a sticker to slap in my passport, and did a series of stamps that basically say I can legally stay in Korea until our DEROS date. The process took 5 minutes. You know, minus the other 6 hours of hell we had to go through.

We ate at the PX before grabbing a bus that would took us to Yongsan. From Yongsan we took a bus home. I think it was 7:30 or 8 before we got home that night. From there I for some unknown reason decided that it would be a good idea to budget out our expenses/bills and look at our bank and balance the checkbook and basically turn myself into an even larger ball of stress. M had to scold me and force me to join him in mindlessly watching YouTube until I fell asleep. I joked with M that the universe knew I was removing the only stressor in my life (getting my SOFA stamp) and decided to add another in its place. I'm not good at handling this whole thing we call 'life', okay? I easily overthink situations until I've convinced myself that the worst possible outcome is the only outcome.

The rest of my weekend was very relaxed. We stayed in and played video games and ate and basically took a break from the world. M's tooth was giving him more trouble and I was in no mood to go back out. I haven't been blogging. M and I decided that a break would be good since I was so wound up over Friday's events.
Today I cleaned. I tried mopping but the mop we bought came out of the packaging broken. This was after I had already swept and moved all furniture and set up the mop water. You bet your bunny ears I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the floor with a sponge. I was not letting all of that water and effort go to waste. Once that was done I sat down at the computer for this post and I feel a lot better. I've had time to think about the events of this weekend and tell myself I'm ridiculous. Everything is taken care of. Nobody was hurt. Everything that needed to be done was done. Now I'm going to play video games until M comes home.

Tomorrow I get to spend some time with T and L, a new player in my social game. L is part of the bowling league and T, L, and I are starting to train for a half marathon in May. Less than two months? Naaaah, we got this. *sweats profusely*

Have any of you guys gotten more stressed than necessary from a semi bad event?

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