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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Flying Kitties?

Mine are! I'll post here the updates as they come, b/c I think it's awesome that I'm getting updates!

Thank you AirAnimal! My final review is that the cost was well worth the peace of mind. Thank you for all the updates and for getting our kitties to Korea safe and sound!

4/2/11 6:48am EST (7:38pm Korea)
Email from Shannon: "Both the kitties are fine. As soon as I opened their kennels both were VERY excited to see me... then promptly went to explore their new home. I showed them both their liter box and both have used it once already. I also gave them food and water but they seem to be sharing each others right now. Lizzie prowled around to find a good hiding spot and sat there where I couldn't find her for a good long while. And Bella after loving on me for a while decided to go sulk under the bed for a while but eventually the queen found her throne on top the bed. I attached some pictures to make you feel better. :)"

Bella sulking!

Prowling Lizzie!

Queen Bella!

4/1/11 8:35am EST (9:35pm Korea)
Email from AirAnimal: "After having a drink, meeting new friends, and learning a little German, I see they are in Seoul. I'm sure Maya will send us an update once she gets a chance."

4/1/11 7am EST (8pm Korea)
Shannon got a call from Korean agents: "The cats made it to Seoul. I have been told they are safe and sound for the night and will be taking a flight tomorrow to Busan and then should be arriving to me about 5 or 6pm"

The Seoul Royal Palace... kitties are touring everywhere!

3/31/11 10:30pm EST (11:30am Korea)
Flight 712 arrives in Seoul, Korea

3/31/11 1:15pm EST (6:15pm Frankfurt, 2:15am 4/1/11 Korea)
Flight 712 leaves Frankfurt, Germany -> Seoul, Korea

3/31/11 10:06am EST (4:06pm Germany, 11:06pm Korea)
Email from AirAnimal: "They are in Frankfurt having their comfort stop. All is going according to plan."
Shannon's email response: "Comfort stop? Do they get little kitty massages and mamosas?"
Lol! I hope so!

So Charming! If only they were here during Octoberfest!

3/31/11 1:35am EST (7:35am Germany)
Flight 403 arrives in Frankfurt, Germany

3/30/11 5:50pm
Flight 403 leaves Newark -> Frankfurt, Germany

3/30/11 2:09pm
Email from AirAnimal: "They are all checked in and waiting to get their wings. The flight is scheduled to depart on time. I'll send you an update in the morning."

Since they have a lot of times between flights, the kitties decided to tour.
Not much to see in Newark I guess...

3/30/11 9:42am
Flight 3360 arrives in Newark

3/30/11 9:21am
Email from AirAnimal: "Everything went according to plan this morning. They should be landing in Newark any minute now."

3/30/11 8:15am
Flight 3360 leaves Pittsburgh -> Newark

3/30/11 5am
Pickup at our door in Pittsburgh

3/30/11 4:30am
Put frozen water bowls in Kennels and Kitties followed soon there-after. Bella settled in immediately, lying on Shannon's t-shirts, dazed that I had made her get up at 4:30am and put her in a cage. Lizzie was not a happy camper, it took a lot of persuading to put her into the kennel and then she kept pawing at the door trying to open it. Sneaky kitty!

Bella was resigned early on.

 Lizzie was trying to kill me with her laser eyes. (She was upset)

The prisoners... (Notice Lizzie looking forlornly from her cell in the back)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Location Location Location!

Since I've been getting so many question about it, I thought I'd post some maps of where our apartment is in relation to everything else going on on that side of the world.

Look how close we are to the beach!

Just North of the DMZ is North Korea! Yikes!

Japan is Korea's breakwater. :D

Where we are in relation to the world!

So no, I'm not worried about Tsunamies, Radiation or Hurricanes. Thanks though for being the thousandth person to ask, I should've had a prize ready for you. ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The Slingbox is a device that using your cable and internet can send you your TV anywhere in the world. So after a week of living in Korea, Shannon has decided that American TV is a must for the next 3 years.
On Friday, I went to Best Buy and purchased the Slingbox.
The Slingbox hooks up to your cablebox (or your coax cable), your internet hub, and power. Then, it has a remote control signal that you attach to the cable box so you can control your cable remotely.
The Slingbox Pro (which does HDTV) is about $300. A one-time payment, no subscription fee needed.
Now with the Slingbox, you can watch your TV on your computer or phone… anywhere you can log into the internet in other words. I don’t know if you can watch it via your Playstation 3 or Xbox yet. We’ll try it and report back when our gaming systems get to Korea. If you want Slingbox to run on your remote TV, you either need to hook up your computer to your TV, or buy a SlingCatcher. A SlingCatcher will run you another $300 approximately.

We plan on hooking up one of our desktops to the TV and stream it there. (Like old-school netflix)
To initially set up the program, you need to have a computer in your house hooked up to your network and download the software from the Slingbox site. After that initial setup you can log into your account from any computer and watch your TV. When you log-in there’s a virtual remote you use to change channels, etc.
Here’s a photo of the Slingbox in use (Slingbox on the right. Wireless router to the left):

Here’s a photo of the remote system attached to the cablebox:

Hooray! We’ll get to watch Seinfeld and all the other rerun sitcoms that we’re addicted to. Now, it’s too bad we don’t have a DVR….

Friday, March 25, 2011

North Korea

Of course, everyone asks us if we’re worried about North Korea. Actually we weren’t really until we started watching documentaries.

Here are some of my favorites, they’re better than a ghost story for giving you the willies.

1.       Vice Guide to North Korea
You can find this on Netflix instant play if you’re interested.

2.       BBC Documentary: State of Mind

I have to admire the people for being so determined to persevere, but I’m sad at how ignorant they are. They don’t know how a market will work?

3.       A day in the life of….

Shannon, here’s some of the footage that I think Vice uses in their documentary?  This day in the life of is supposedly all propaganda (which makes sense, since they restrict the use of cameras in their country). I didn’t post the other parts to this one, but you can get them on YouTube.

4.      Report Inside North Korea – a lot more recent, right after the sub attack by North Korea.

 Those children that are taught to despise us from birth are adorable.

I was trying to find some North Korean Propaganda films that I really liked but I can’t bring myself to watch them for more than a few minutes at a time.

Please, feel free to post your suggestions in the comments section. I could watch these all day and night and never get tired of scaring myself.

Next time: Some happy South Korean films to make me feel better!

Kat Kennels

To expand on my first post about shipping cats to South Korea. Here's the kennel requirements as outlined by our shipping company, AirAnimal Inc.
  1. The flight kennels should have at least 3 inches of clearance around the cats inside while sitting, standing or lying down.
    1. We bought 2 kennels for this. The shipping company would have provided loaner kennels for $90/ea. We bought these for $65/ea.
    2. The kennel dimensions: 28Lx20.5Wx21.5H inches
    3. Kitty dimensions: 14Hx20L
    4. So the kitties should be very comfy!
  2. Ventilated on all 4 sides.
  3. Bolted Edges (None of the easy access clasps)
Pictures of the kennel from front and back. Note the ventilation and wingnut bolts on the sides.

Set-up Requirements (I haven't done these yet):
  1. Shredded Paper along the bottom.
    1. I'm going to use our shredding machine and shred up newspapers for this.
  2. T-shirt or small towel
    1. We're going to put old t-shirts in with them that smell like us to cuddle with.
  3. No Toys inside! (poor toys?!)
  4. 2 water dishes that attach to the door filled with water and frozen.
  5. 2 ziploc baggies with food secured to the top of the kennel

Here's a picture of our kitties, already asuming something bad is going to happen.
Lizzie's such a ham and Bella likes to pretend the camera isn't there and deliberately turns away. (Bella's on the left, Lizzie's on the right)

They had a vet visit last night to get their health certificates signed. Those were mailed express to the USDA and a copy to AirAnimal, Inc. The ship date is still March 31st. They'll arrive in Korea on April 2nd.
Wish the kitties good luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Unrelated Awesomeness

This is completely unrelated to this blog except in terms of (maybe) increased proximity to Japan’s reactors, and that we’ll be living within 10km of 4(? I could be missing a couple) reactors in Korea.

Why I’m not worried:

Thank you! (And thank you to Art for bringing this to my attention.)

Let me plug one of my all time favorite comics. If you've never read, it's not to late!

Tomorrow I'll try to blog more relevantly.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shipping our Cats to Korea

Both our cats are coming with us to Korea. Rather, I’m shipping them from the US, my husband will receive them in Korea.
We went through an IPATA certified shipper.   We went with Air Animal Inc. I’ll give them a more thorough review after our cats get to Korea.   Before I hired them though I looked into what would be required to get our cats out of the US and into Korea. Korea’s requirements aren’t that bad.
1.       Need to have a rabies vaccination < 1year but more then 30 days. If less than 30 days, then they have to sit in quarantine until the 30 day mark is reached.
2.       Need to have a Health Certificate by a certified veterinarian (this means the USDA certified vet for your state…. Which means you’ll have to send off for the certification, the USDA has its own rules and regs and it’s a lot harder getting a straight answer from them)
An IPATA shipper, depending on how much you’re willing to pay them, will sort out all this paperwork for you. Pick your pets up at your front door, provide appropriate kennels and supplies, they will transfer your pet (make sure they don’t get lost at an airport), get them through customs, and deliver them to your door at the end.
Because I had so much trouble finding out costs before I did this, I’m going to provide our breakdown here for anyone who might be using this as a reference for their own move. And let me just say, Thank God Shannon’s company is paying for this.
$350       Residential pickup/airport delivery
$403       International health certificates with USDA endorsements
$500       Domestic Cargo
$350       Airline Transfer
$950       International Cargo with Insurance
$1200    Customs clearance, duties fees, and residential delivery
$945       Pet Move Management Fee
$4698    Total
I probably could have done this for cheaper (they call this the VIP treatment). It was worth it to me to have them take care of everything so I wouldn’t have to stress out about this. A month on my own trying to figure out from the USDA certified vet what we needed to do (they gave me 10 year old documents about what’s required by Korea and then contradicted that information on the next page, not to mention pricing charts that had farm animal information instead of pet information) convinced me that it was worth any price to have someone else figure it all out and get my pets safely to me. Also, they’ll have someone who speaks Korean escorting our cats through clearance at the end.  (That’s why customs clearance is so expensive!)
My experience thus far is I would recommend this route to anyone who can take it. I’ll let you know if I still feel that way in April.


I debated about introducing myself. On the off chance that someone besides friends and family read this, here it is.

My full name is Kimberly Ann, I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, went to college in Rolla, Missouri and more recently lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

My husband recently got relocated to Busan, Korea. Busan is the 2nd largest city in Korea with a population of 3.6 Million, according to Wikipedia

Also interesting, this tourist site has a really good Tourism map (when it’s working)

Shannon (my husband) left on March 17th. I will join him/leave the states on April 6th. We will be living 30 minutes north of Busan, near Wollae-ri.

This blog will be information about what it took to move to Korea and after we’re there, any useful information I can think of, as well as adventures we have!