Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paper Cut

The other day we needed to print out some documents, but we don't have a printer at home so we went along to the local council office, which provides a couple of Internet connected computers alongside a printer for use by the general public. Probably their intention is that people use it for council-related business, but they don't specify this. However, on discovering that the printer's output had seen better days - leaving a dark banding across the middle of everything we tried to print - we elected to try later somewhere else, given that we didn't exactly feel free to complain about it under the circumstances.

So today we went to a moderately-sized PC Bang where we hoped we might find a printer, but they didn't have one. I know by know that their main reason for existence is to function as gaming arcades, but the lack of any other facilities shattered any remaining illusions I had that anyone did anything much more serious there. There was a sign outside the PC Bang advertising a cost of 3,000 won (about £1.56) for thirteen hours access during the night - and no doubt there are plenty who avail themselves of the deal too.

The second PC Bang we walked into had a printer - though it looked suspiciously like an inkjet to me, but we didn't get very far because whatever the actual PC use charge we decided not to bother when they told us it was 200 won (about 11p) per sheet of paper printed. Given that we had twenty sheets to print, the total cost would have been £2.20. In Korea, where earlier I'd just eaten a wonderful oven-baked spaghetti dish in a reasonably nice restaurant for 5,500 won (£2.98), it struck me as a little excessive.

We didn't really solve our printing problem as such in the end. We mentioned it to one of our friends and they offered to print it out for us instead.

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