Since the US sometimes resembles an overmuscled third world country with equal measures corporate malfeasance and incompetence, I anticipated that moving overseas would mean a million little details to keep track of as the various corporate entities I have sold some pound or two of my flesh screw up their tiny little tasks (such as billing me fairly and honestly).
So, since I have been here, I have spent a large amount of time communicating with all of the companies in the US that periodically screw up and overcharge me. Thank god for Skype. I can sit on the phone for a long time reading shit online while waiting for this idiots to put on a supervisor, who is magically empowered to do easily what they just spent 20 minutes telling me cannot be done.
One thing I have noticed, however, is that mentioning that I am in Korea instantly makes things easier. I think this is a clear result of the semi-fascist makeover of the US during the Bush interregnum.
The toadies at the call centers are quick to help someone they think is a soldier-hero in waiting. ('Who else would be in f'ing Korea', I think is the concept).
My guess is if I said I was calling from Bolivia people might think it was in the South somewhere (there is one in NC).
It is a smaller scale version of what I am sure many of you have witnessed while flying in the past several years. Stewardesses grovel in front of every enlisted dude in a uniform, boost them up to first class, give them free drinks, etc. Meanwhile, the various people on the rest of the plane who may or may not have accomplished great things throughout their lives, they are left to sit thankless in their overpriced seats, drinkless.
If only that devoted surgeon in the back who has saved hundreds of lives in the operating room had huffed more gas in his high school years he could have decided that enlisting in the military was the best path to serving his country and then he could be celebrated as a real hero and treated with greater respect. Instead he is just another chump. Like the rest of us.