So last week, I mentioned that I was making my first solo-drive into Seoul and I’m pleased to report that I put on my big-girl pants and did exactly that. Big wins in life for me in May eh?
Now, I’ve driven into Seoul before, but usually Raj is sitting next to me and directing / keeping an eye on which lane I need to be in while I chatter (he is not a chatterer, but I more than make up for it) but I decided that enough is enough and I needed to start making the journey by myself. Plus, Naver maps having a version in English (thank you Pyeongchang Olympics) is the best thing that ever happened to driving in Korea, so I figured it wouldn’t be that difficult.
So as I mentioned, I contacted Phil, of Phil’s Computer Repsitory via Facebook, after his company was recommended to me (Thanks goes to local PT Bryce!). I had previously been in touch with the Korea Mac-PC Guys (also via Facebook), but, although they were super friendly and helpful online, I preferred the thought of going into Seoul and actually speaking to someone face-to-face over shipping my poor broken PC far away from home. (Yes, I ascribe feelings to inanimate objects. All our plates and cutlery get rotated so that everyone gets used equally and nobody feels left out. It’s something you’ll either get used to or work hard to ignore about me.)
Phil is located in the electronics area of Seoul – Yongsan. From Songdo Central Park, you can take the subway to Bupyeong and then change to the dark blue line straight to Yongsan. In my very technical directional sense, Yongsan is to the right of Hongdae – along the river and then up a bit. Easy peasy. Phil asks that you make an appointment to go and see him, so I set a time for Thursday 17th and he sent me his address in Korean and English, as well as his office hours:
Address:서울특별시 용산구 한강로2가 16-1 선인상가 21동 3층 242호
Seoul Yongsan-gu Hangangro-2ga 16-1 Sunin Plaza 21 Building 3rd Floor #242
Office Hours: Monday to Friday: 2pm – 10PM Saturday: 2PM to 10PM
From Songdo, Naver took me through Incheon to get into Seoul, and luckily, the weather in Korea had been pretty miserable, so there weren’t too many people on the road which meant that it was a pretty easy drive – about an hour (well, my failing phone meant it took me an hour fifteen to get there, but that’s not so bad). I parked in a random building car park that I found when Naver said I had arrived but had I driven around a bit, I could have found the car park for the building that Phil’s office is in. Anyway, the point is that parking around there was relatively painless, so I’d make the drive in the future rather than trying out the subway.
From where I had parked, I found the back entrance to the building super easily – it was right next to a HUGE NH bank. Once inside, I was already on the 2nd floor, so it was just one floor up to the 3rd. Then, I had fun trying to figure out how to get to his unit. I spent a good 40 minutes wandering around, but it was OK, I had some time to kill before his office hours technically started. Phil quickly found my message on FB messenger and got to work – scanning my hard drive to show there were no corruptions and explaining what he was going to do – in my case, it was a simple OS re-install and as all my data was either on the cloud or on my hard drive, there was nothing to recover. We even talked about future fixes that I might want – as and when my long suffering hard drive konks out, he can replace the hard drive and I can continue to use the same machine, or he’ll buy my old machine off me. He talked me through the price list and for an extra 5,000 won, offered to ship my computer back to me. With the minor fixes I needed, he was optimistic that he’d have it back to me by Saturday, or the following Monday at the latest. He even gave me some advice on Raj’s Macbook and threw in a free Korean-style plug for my laptop, so I could stop using an adapter. AWESOME.
Leaving the building, I went out through the front and noticed that it is right across the street from the iPark Mall (and so, Yongsan station.) Super easy to find, and here is a picture of the front of the building for you:
Then, my lovely Naver maps and I made our way back to Songdo..I was keen to get out of Seoul before the post-work traffic started up! Within an hour of me reaching home, I got a message from Phil saying he had fixed my computer and it was being shipped out immediately – to arrive in Songdo on Friday. AWESOME. I’ve now had just under a week of using my as-good-as-new laptop with no complaints and I know exactly where I will go for my next upgrade! Finally, electronics in Korea that aren’t more expensive than back home… #winning.