After too much sitting in front of the computer

Gonjiam Flute Festival 2018 is next week, and I’ve been stuck in front of the computer designing and putting together materials for printing:  banners, name tags, certificates . . . The biggest task is the camp program book.

Despite the temptation to stay chained to my desk until I’m finished, I still make it to the gym most days. I can’t imagine what I’d look and feel like if I didn’t.

Declaring tax deductions in Korea

Employees in Korea have to file their taxes by March 10. Though I learned to file my own taxes in the United States at an early age, I’ve never had to do this in Korea as our employers’ accounting offices always does it for us. If we wish to declare tax-deductions, however, it is our responsibility to turn in all necessary paperwork to our accounting offices ahead of time.

Sometimes, we miss those deadlines, which seems to be the case with a colleague of mine who messaged me the following question. I’m sharing my response in case it can be of help to someone else.

Dear Charles,
Do you know when this year’s time-frame for the declaration is? I have been waiting for messages from the University about it but yet nothing seems to have come . . .

My response:

The deadline for turning in documents for tax deductions is always in the middle of January. This year our accounting office accepted those documents from Jan. 15-19. It sounds like you missed that deadline, so our employer will have already filed your taxes for you but without deductions. If I understand your situation correctly, you should expect a smaller paycheck tan usual this month as you will probably have to pay a little extra tax.

If this is so, don’t worry. In May (until the 31st), you can go to a local tax office (I go to 용인세무서) to add (추가 신청) deduction-related documents (spending related to insurance, credit card, education, etc — all can be obtained via the National Tax Service website). It’s pretty simple, and the level of Korean needed is not very high. Also bring a copy of your tax return along with any other tax documents declaring income from other sources. They will recalculate your taxes with your deductions. They will inform you that you either owe more tax or that you have a refund coming to you. After giving them your bank info, the refund will get processed within 2-3 months.

I hope that helps!

All the best,

I’m struck by the warm, personable tone of my response. It’s a wonder I don’t have more friends.

Bangles for the blues

I get like this sometimes. I remember being in the dumps for a considerable period of time a few years back. I couldn’t stop watching the Granada version of Sherlock Holmes.

This time I’ve developed an almost unhealthy obsession with the Bangles. Some people have a mantra. I have “Eternal Flame” on repeat.

Website is back up

Sometime last summer I accidentally deleted my website while I thought I was backing it up. I fortunately retained my database but felt restoring my content post-by-post with a new design for the website was the way to go. Well, I was too busy (or lazy), so I never got around to it. The website has a new look but there’s nothing to look at.

As I’m simply accumulating too much work that needs to be posted, I realized I have no choice but to make my website live again. Maybe the embarrassment of an empty website will push me to get this done.

Oliver Schnyder returns to Korea with the Trio

Paik Soo Hyun, Phillipp Jundt & Oliver Schnyder Trio at Youngsan Art Hall, Seoul. 8 February 2014.

I’m really excited that Swiss pianist and RCA Sony recording artist Oliver Schnyder has returned to Korea! He and the Oliver Schnyder Trio just flew in today from Taipei, the first stop on their East Asia tour. Tomorrow evening the trio will join flutists Paik Soo Hyun and Philipp Jundt on stage for a concert at Youngsan Art Hall in Seoul.

With Oliver Schnyder after a fantastic performance at Seoul Arts Center with flutists Paik Soo Hyun and Philipp Jundt, 18 September 2014.
With Oliver Schnyder after a fantastic performance at Seoul Arts Center with flutists Paik Soo Hyun and Philipp Jundt, 18 September 2014.

The Oliver Schnyder Trio has been doing a great job of keeping in touch with their fans through Facebook. Their recordings and performances have received rave reviews, their December 2014 release of Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter Journey, or Winter Giant to the careless speller — me) with tenor Daniel Behle being no exception. As an owner of two of Schnyder’s CDs, Haydn piano concertos with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (Andrew Watkinson, cond.) and Mendelssohn piano concertos with the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur (Douglas Boyd, cond.), I was sorely disappointed at not being able to get this most recent release, unavailable in U.S. stores for download or otherwise. Let’s hope the Trio’s management works with Sony to rectify this soon. In the meantime, you can listen to samples from their album of Brahms’s Piano Trios, also recorded last year via SoundCloud. The Trio does a very cool thing by recording both Brahms’s original (1854) version of Piano Trio No. 1 and the revised 1891 version.

Among other works at tomorrow’s concert (see the program here) the Oliver Schnyder Trio will perform Winterreise with the vocal parts played by Philipp Jundt on flute. I expect it will be wonderful!

I take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

About to film my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video, 27 August 2014.

So I got a call about a week ago from Happy Isaac Durst, co-host of Easy English on EBS. He wanted to know if it was okay to nominate me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Isaac had just been nominated himself. Good guy that he is, he called to ask for my permission before shooting his video.

Isaac was the model of patience as I hemmed and hawed on the phone. I didn’t mind giving money to a good cause. I had no problem getting a bucket ice water dumped on my head. My hesitation came from not knowing anyone to whom I could pass the bucket along. I’m not exactly popular. Still, I agreed to be nominated and made it my mission to find people three people who like me. I resorted to people outside the country.

I know the rule is to do your own video within 24 hours, but I didn’t care. Following Isaac’s example, though, I got permission from my three vict . . . friends and made my video yesterday. Luckily I was able to enlist the help of my fellow teachers Daniel Brodie and Eldin Husic and their sons, Benjamin, Mesha, and Tarik who, frankly, are the best part of the video.

Thank you, Isaac, for getting me involved in this fine cause. Thank you Julia, Kathrin, and Philipp for agreeing to be nominated. And thank you Daniel, Benjamin, Eldin, Mesha, and Tarik for making the video fun. Here it is!

Getting an extension on your F-6 visa

Having your immigration documents in order is a fact of life for someone living in a foreign country. An American (even a Korean-American such as myself) living in Korea is no exception. And while the Korean government’s “Hi, Korea!” is a valuable resource for all things immigration, the information isn’t always as clear or as plentiful as one would like.

I recently had to get an extension on my F-6 visa (the relatively new visa for spouses of a Korean national), but wasn’t sure which documents I needed. There are several websites that do a good job of explaining what you need to get your F-6 visa in the first place, but I had difficulty finding information on extensions — even on “Hi, Korea!”. I suspected I wouldn’t need nearly as many documents this time around.

A Korean blog post by Global Life proved to be very helpful. And having just gone through the process myself, I can now share that information with you. I don’t have any unusual circumstances regarding my visa, so I expect the information below will apply to most people.

Suwon Immigration Office
Suwon Immigration Office

Required documents when getting an extension on your F-6 visa:

  • your Alien Registration Card
  • your passport
  • a completed application – (download – Word)
  • Recent (within 3 months) Proof of Resident Registration 주민등록표 for your spouse
  • a recent Marriage Relationship (status) Certificate 혼인관계 증명서
    • You can get a copy of this document at a local government office without your spouse being present, though you’ll have to fill out an application (등록부 등의 기록사항 등에 관한 증명신청서). See below.*
    • It can also be obtained online and printed at home. Visit the Korean Court of Law website.
  • 30,000-40,000 won
    • Fees have recently been increased. See the notice on “Hi Korea!” The notice states that extensions are now both 30,000 won and 40,000 won. I paid 30,000. Of course, unused revenue stamps can be returned to the counter for a refund.

Your F-6 visa will be valid for one year at a time until your second extension. Upon your second extension, your visa will become valid for two years.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

*등록부 등의 기록사항 등에 관한 증명신청서

등록부 등의 기록사항 등에 관한 증명신청서 - Form 11

I’ve signed up for the Toughman contest!

On Friday, February 7, 2003, I’m making my amateur boxing debut at the Toughman Contest, which is being held at the Peoria Civic Center. I am fighting in the lightweight division (164-184 lbs.) among up to 19 other competitors. I will fight only once on Friday’s elimination event. If I win, I move onto Saturday’s elimination tournament in which I could fight up to four times to win my weight division. If you’ve got nothing to do this weekend and would like to see a college student get beaten on, come on by!

FIGHTER: Charles “The Scholar” Chun
HEIGHT: 5 ft. 9 1/2 in.
WEIGHT: 162 lbs.

The Original Toughman ContestToughman contest logo
Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, IL
Friday, February 7, 2003 and Saturday, February 8, 2003. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Event begins at 8:00 pm.
$20/General Admission; $35/Ringside

– 55 South
– 74 West
– Exit on Jefferson (One-Way)
– Peoria Civic Center is on the right. Click here for more details.

– Three one-minute rounds
– 45-second rest between rounds
– 16 oz. gloves
– Headgear, mouthpiece, groin protector
– No professional boxers or amateurs who have fought in more than 5 sanctioned fights
– Only boxing style punches are allowed to the same target areas that are permitted in boxing. No kicking, no biting and no wrestling.