A couple days ago I finally finished packing up all my stuff to move it, sell it, or ship it by slow boat to China. It’s amazing that I spent a year living in this shoebox-shaped (and sized) apartment. I went from a 3 room, kitchen, bathroom, and two balconies apartment where I lived while teaching university out in Chuncheon down to this one room with a kitchenette and bathroom apartment. The up-side of the down-size was that it could not have been a better location within the center of Seoul to live during my last year in Korea. Ever since I arrived in Korea I had been wanting to live in Seoul and I got to do that during my last year, so that’s pretty cool.
UPDATE: If you go to your nearest post office you can purchase boxes (large size was 1200won, I think), and ship them to China for 38,000won per 20kg box. I think the price is the same for any destination as they put the boxes on slow shipping boats.
I took some shots with my Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens . . . this is standing in the entrance where on either side there were closets and a fridge. Oh yeah, you can see on the windows the large size envelopes Julianne and I taped up because the blinds suck and sleeping in was made impossible due to how much light comes through the giant windows, and at night the neon lighting outside is insane too which makes it hard to sleep well. Envelopes and tape were the cheapest options available that I could think of.
The only things my school purchased for the apartment (I was their first native teacher) were the TV and bed. I pushed for a queen size bed cause I knew that schools tend to buy twin size beds and they’re ridiculously small for native teachers (even ones that aren’t as big as I am). The desk, computer chair, and bookcases all came with me when I moved in. I also had the usual array of dishes and small appliances . . . I mean, how much can you really get with the 300,000won settlement allowance when you move to Korea? And add to that question how much do you actually want to spend if you’re only staying for the one contract/one year? Not much. It’s always nice for newbies when they arrive in Korea if the school has outfitted the apartment properly with the basic things like a microwave and dishes, etc.
It’s funny looking at these pictures cause I recently watched Mythbusters test ‘cabin fever’ . . . I knew before the first minute of the show was over that this is NOT a myth!
The apartment was big enough, and felt new enough that I was satisfied, though, and again the location was awesome.
I was kind of miffed that my school’s admin office manager didn’t seem to think it was necessary to check my apartment on my last day, though. I spent several hours scrubbing it down, and cleaning. The really funny thing was that no inventory list was ever made to check that everything was in the apartment and still in working order–the manager better hope the school never gets a native teacher who is rough on appliances and never cleans cause I’ve heard stories about how bad apartments are when new native teachers move into them after the former teacher leaves. I once helped a friend scrub the kitchen cabinets in the apartment she moved into cause they were so gross you felt like you needed a biohazard suit just to stand beside them. I could have left the apartment a little dirty but I would have felt bad about that. Julianne and I even took all the shelves out of the fridge and cleaned them in the sink, and wiped down the inside of it (though I must admit I forgot to do the freezer, oops, lol).
The bathroom was pretty good. The shower water power was good, and I LOVED that. I’ve had showers in other apartments that felt like the pressure was meant for using on a baby or something, and it would take minutes to rinse soap off . . . anyways, it was a good bathroom.
Also, getting a shower with a glass wall and door is a nice bonus. Often you just have the shower head sitting on the wall and no curtain/wall/door between you and the sink or toilet. Water goes everywhere, and you just have to get used to having a bathroom floor that’s wet most of the time.
I’ve already seen pictures in an email of the apartment Julianne and I will be living in in China–it looks like it will be similar to the apartment I had while teaching university which is awesome!
3 days to China!