Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Moving and My New Apartment

One Saturday morning about three weeks ago I got a knock at the front door. I told my boyfriend to ignore it like I usually do… they’re usually church people or someone trying to sell something… but he answered the door and to our surprise it was someone from the 부동산 (real estate agency). She said that some people wanted to look at the apartment, but my boyfriend told her that she must be mistaken, that we weren’t aware of anything like that and she went away and I hoped that she must have just knocked on the wrong door. My boyfriend left and not much later four people showed up at my door demanding to come in. My room was filthy, I hadn’t cleaned in weeks and I was so angry about the invasion that I refused to speak Korean to them… “What? What? This is my house! Dirty, dirty, you can’t come in! What do you want?” Finally they got a translator on the phone and she told me that they needed to come in to see the house, and it didn’t matter if it was dirty. They walked through the house, examining everything, and even had the nerve to ask me if my bed was really mine, or if it came with the apartment. In my anger I still refused to speak Korean… “What? Bed? My bed!” even though I could understand them quite well and could have answered them easily in Korean. This home invasion made me angrier than I’d felt in a long time.

I called my boss as soon as they closed the door behind them and demanded to know what was going on. My boss didn’t know, but she called me back 10 minutes later to tell me that because of a change of landlords and maybe change of rental price? Or were they selling the apartment? I never did quite figure that one out, they were making me move and already had a new apartment picked out for me in the same building. Hm. Lovely, a warning might have been nice.

The following Monday I asked when I was going to be moving. I was told, uh, next week or the following week… sometime. So helpful. Finally last Tuesday I asked again if they knew when I would be moving.” Oh, yes, Friday morning you and I will move it together” was the answer from one of the managers at work. Because clearly 2 days is plenty of notice. But worse than that was the fact that I have Korean class on Friday mornings and I didn’t really feel like skipping it because my hagwon just fancied to make me move on that particular day. Unfortunately the only other solution that we could come up with was that I would move my things Thursday night and the manager would move all the furniture on Friday morning while I was at class. Then as I was leaving on Thursday evening, the manager leisurely mentioned to me, “… make sure you move everything except the bed, I will move the bed tomorrow morning”. So basically I had to move everything myself.

I worked ‘til 2 am and moved basically everything myself (and when I say myself, I mean my boyfriend, myself and my boyfriend’s poor friend who stopped by to drop off an early Chuseok gift to us who got conned into carrying up a TV and a night stand). I slept in the old apartment since my bed was still there, then woke up and moved all the things we had missed the night before and wound up being half an hour to Korean class and forgetting my book and homework.

While moving, I made a list of problems in the apartment that I wanted fixed.
1. Put a screen on the window.
2. Put my curtains back up on the window.
3. Fix a broken cabinet door.
4. Fix the shower because the hot water would randomly shut off in the middle of the shower.
5. Put some sort of sealant around the window because the window and the frame don’t quite line up and you can see a bit of the sky where the window and the frame don’t quite meet.
6. Put a plug in the bathroom sink.
7. Clean kitchen drain so it drains quickly.
8. Fix the window handle because it was very jiggly (how do you spell that?).

I didn’t really expect to get all these problems fixed right away, but to my amazement, when I came home on Friday night I found that all but one of these problems had been fixed! The only problem I still have is that little gap in the window that might get a bit chilly come wintertime… Though I’m not sure how they can fix the problem…

Anyway, now in the new apartment I’m quite happy. I’ve finally got everything in it’s new place. The apartment has new wallpaper and clean floors. The best part is the lack of junk in the apartment. My apartment had been lived in by at least four or five teachers before me, and everyone left behind something. I had a house cleaning a few months ago and had gotten rid of quite a few things, but there was still a lot left over. I invited all my friends to come and take things like clothes, cosmetics and bedding. I managed to get rid of a lot of things I didn’t want to bring to the new place. A lot of stuff got tossed, but fortunate they were things that no one can use, like old, well-used candles and useless things like that.

Finally Monday morning I got everything completely put away, and the house feels so clean. I don’t know when it will ever be this clean again, so I took some photos to post here. I can’t complain about my apartment actually. Though it’s a little on the small side, it’s one of the nicer hagwon provided apartments that I’ve seen in this city. I’ve really lucked out. Some of my friends have nicer looking apartments, but it seems like when you live there it turns out there are some hidden problems like bugs or mold… things you can’t see when you’re just visiting.

Here are some pics of the new place. It's basically the same as the old one, just everything is reverse. Don't get too jealous of my bathroom guys...


  1. New place looks great. Moving helps clean out stuff. I can't wait to move and hope to God it is a decent place.

  2. I can only imagine how it looked like before you cleaned up. I’m lucky that I didn’t have to experience such a thing every time I moved from one apartment to another.