Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Monday, February 16, 2009

High Tech Korea

Monday, February 16, 2009
Korea is most definitely a high tech place.  There are plasma screen TVs in the subway stations and some of the bus stops.  It's one of the most wired places in the world.  Definitely more wired than the US.  I love the free internet cafes at the Seoul airport, especially considering all the time I've been spending there lately.  Here is just a small sampling of some of the high tech things we've got here in Korea:  

One of my favorite tech gadgets is the little "Mini-pass" chip thing that you clip onto your cell phone.  You can use the Mini-pass to pay for toll roads, subways, the bus and even some taxis.  It's very convenient.  You just load up the Mini-pass by giving money to a toll booth collector or at a subway machine.  The toll booth collectors are extremely nice, BTW.  They dress up and everything.

We don't even carry a house key anymore.  Most of the front doors to apartments have this type of security lock.  You lift up the face to reveal a number pad.  Type in your code and you're eating Oreos in your underwear on the couch in mere seconds.  Jake even knows our code and how to open the door.  When the door opens, there's even a nice little Korean greeting that comes out of a speaker.  There's also a little keychain remote you can use to open the door.  Who needs keys?

This is the panel in our apartment that allows us to see who is at our front door, in the lobby or down in the garage.  It's a high tech version of what Jerry, George and Elaine used a couple years back in New York.  If you don't know who I'm talking about, I suggest you drop what you're doing and purchase the Seinfeld DVDs.  Your life won't be fulfilled until you do so.  I've mistakenly hit the emergency button on this thing once or twice and had a couple of frantic Korean guys knocking at the door.  These apartment security guys were really nice about it but I'm pretty sure I heard them mumbling "stupid Americans" in Korean underneath their breath as they headed out the door.

I'm not sure if this is common in the US but it sure is over here.  A lot of apartments come with built in vacuum cleaner systems.  They have these wall hookups in spots throughout the apartment.  You just plug in the hose and start vacuuming.  Carol was overjoyed when I hung up a bracket in the closet so the long vacuum hose could be neatly put away.  Yeah, I'm romantic like that.

Even the toilets are high speed.  Note the buttons to the afterburners on the left side.  Some of the toilet seats are even heated.  Ours are not.  That's probably a good thing because I'd never leave the can.  "Chris, are you dropping the kids off at the pool again?"

The buttons on the powered toilet are pretty humorous.  I think the first button means stop.  Second button shoots water on your bum.  The third button does something for girls, although I'm not sure how the toilet can tell if you're a girl or not.  Like I said, this place is high tech.  And the fourth button will give you a perm.  Just so you know, this toilet is in CJ and Jake's bathroom, so naturally, we unplugged it.  We didn't want our boys with constantly wet behinds and curly hair.

Carol just piped in and told me that the last button makes air blow on your butt.  Wow.  Well, it's time to hit the can.  Until next time -- C2




The Cruzers

Forgot to add that a lot of foreigners have at least one story of pushing the wrong button in the toilet of that restaurant or other public place. The stories usually end up with a wet behind.

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