24 april 2003

Korea April 2003

Wednesday, April 24, 2003
For the past three days I have been to P'yeong T'aek, LG's learning center. This time to have training together with people from Marketing and Sales. Everyday waking up at 7:30 at the Lake Hills hotel and lectures until 20:00... It was a great opportunity to meet people from other departments and overseas offices.

So what is it like working for LPL? I encounter one of the few things most interns will experience I guess: paranoid colleagues who are reluctant to give away top secret information. Then we usually makes jokes like: 'Yes, selling top secret information to our competitors is a great idea. I never thought of that; that way I can make some extra money since I am underpaid!' My colleagues would then respond: 'OK, in that case I will give you the information - but we have to split the money 50/50!'

In Shinchon, I feel most comfortable spending my time with international students. I guess they really know what it is like to live in different cultures. I think it can make you more flexible and tolerant in many respects. In my opinion culture simply is a country's identity which people have to respect and understand. Handling cultural differences is an issue that requires a subtle approach. In an international setting one person can get easily offended by another while this person does not even realize this. This can be very difficult, but you can also learn a lot from it, I think. It is difficult to recognize something until it is gone for a long time... And to be honest I can recommend everyone to spend some years abroad - perhaps only then we can understand each other really well?

Sunday, April 20, 2003
First of all, I apologize I haven't been updating this website for a long time... On March 31 I decided to move back to Sinchon, since the 3-hour commuting from West-Incheon to Yeoido every working day simply was too much. Now I live with Yonsei students in a one-room ha-suk-jib, or boarding house. Our ajumma cooks our breakfast and supper for us.

What have I been doing lately? Chess-parties in Apgujeon, together with my colleagues we went skiing in February, I went to Gumi - Korea's "Silicon Valley". And together with some Dutch students studying at Yonsei we were invited to have a delicious traditional Dutch meal at the Dutch Counseller's residence. His wife was friendly enough to cook hutspot for us! At this gathering I met a student from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven who will also do an internship at LG.Philips LCD. He is part of a group of (15) TUE students who are doing a tour through Korea and a 3-month case study at companies here in Korea. And last but not least, together with some friends from last semester we went to the show Cooking Nanta (crazy beat) in Apgujeon - as my birthday present... I really appreciated that!

Next weekend most of the Dutch people here in Korea will go to the charity gala "Orange Ball" at the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel. This yearly event is to celebrate our Queen's birthday and "Hamel Year"
. This year it is 350 years ago that Hendrick Hamel visited Korea - the first westerner ever to visit Korea.