Moving once again

We have just accumulated too much crap. It is kinda insane really. Time to start getting rid of things again. More of that “shedding”process.

When I say mostly, I mean the vast bulk of our boxes are sitting in the new place but we aren’t officially moving in till tomorrow. We still have some cleaning and a bunch of things to bring. Don’t know how we are going to do it but such is life and donuts. It will work out….always does.

Koreans have this strange notion of privacy….or lack thereof. They asked for our apartment code, which means they want to come in and inspect the place. Typically they do this without letting you know. Screw that. We gave them a fake code. We then got a call saying the code did not work. Heh. We told them we will change it to that code the day we move out. Screw them going into our place without asking or us being there. We’ll just give them the current code. Really don’t feel like figuring out how to change it again. Got enough of my thoughts and energy spread out/used up as it is.

The new building does not have an elevator. Many of the older places don’t. I was not looking forward to moving all those freaking boxes up 3 flights of steps. Geeze, my legs are killing me as it is just going up and down one flight of steps to the truck this morning.

image

The first pic is all the crap on the rental truck in front of old place. Because of the stupid volume of crap, we needed a “platform truck” to get it up to the third floor of the new place. It was worth the extra $100 to do it!

image

Then I had to just kill time till the next bus back to our old place so I can organize/clean for the final moving process the next day. Buses aren’t very common in the new place. Had to wait nearly an hour. Oh well.

Well, now we are all moved in. Will eventually get all the crap unpacked over the next few weeks.  Previous foreign teacher left all kinds of stuff, dishes and such.  So now we have even more crap!  Gonna figure out what belongs to the school and the rest we are going to donate or sell.

Moving your stuff in South Korea

I think that most people back home generally bribe their friends with pizza and beer to help them move and if you are a friend with a truck, you definitely are bribed, heavily!.  They load up their vehicles, take it to the new place and unload.  If there is an elevator, then things can be complicated/slowed down.  Here, when we moved into Seoul, we had to pay an ‘elevator use fee’ for moving.  About $75 too!  Ridiculous.  Lesson learned, don’t tell them you are moving and do it any ways.  That’s what previous people have done.  Mind you, it’s a little hard with the amount of stuff that we have.  Need to get rid of things.  In any case, for those that move into apartments that are more typical, this is how it’s done.

On broken things

When moving, you always worry about things getting broken.  You especially worry about the “significant” items, either due to cost or emotional attachment.  Normally things go just fine until they don’t.  Our only dresser got broken by the mover.  Sure, it’s not an expensive thing, it’s not even truly significant but it is ours and we expect a bit of responsibility.  Sadly, such a thing does not exist for us “normal”people.

image

What it really comes down to is how much hassle are you willing to cause over something like this?  This part you see is cosmetic, its the back part, which got chewed up some, and now the thing won’t sit level any more.  It kinda rocks.  Also, not only are closets kinda rare in small apartments, so are dressers.  We spoke a few harsh words at the recruiter, who was responsible for hiring the mover, but best he could do was apologize and say that the mover had no insurance so we are basically screwed.  We have learned more on what to demand should we be involved with this recruiter again.

Next on our list is the TV.

image

Luckily this isn’t ours so we don’t truly care, except that the contract states that a TV would be provided (among a few other things that weren’t here…you really need to be firm with these people!).  We will be informing the co-teacher, and you know they just looooove extra work thrown at them.

Then there is the door that won’t close.

image

Not that we care at all about this.  In fact, I’m a little stumped why there is even one here to begin with.  The door only closes off the kitchen and main room.  You have to go through the kitchen to leave the place.  The heating (floor) does both sides of the door. So it really serves no purpose but it does show some pretty sad workmanship (either with the door, our more frighteningly with the building itself…).

Now, if this was the only door that had a problem, I wouldn’t care.  Actually, I still don’t really care but when you see a second door, the one to the bathroom, that looks pretty shabby for work done, then you start being concerned about the overall quality of work in the whole place.

image

I don’t know why the door wasn’t wide enough, nor why there is still a 1/2″ gap when closed.

Should I even mention the poorly setup gas line and drawers?

image

Just so you understand, having a gas line in your kitchen is normal.  It is a very practical and cheap way to set it up on buildings here (see definition of conservatism and go extreme with it in your building designs.  Who needs to hide gas lines?) but normally they aren’t so screwed up in planning.

I guess I should be checking to make sure the AC works….

Unpacking in #Korea, day 2

Ok, after the mild fiasco of burying the needed box from the last post, I finally got the “closet” set up.

Here is the skeleton structure:

image

It is a pretty neat concept and greatly portable.  All you need for tools are…..your hands.  Everything either is a pressure fit (using an o-ring to prevent things from slipping down) or uses a nut/screw with a flat plastic head that is easy to tighten.

Next step are the curtains:

image

image

They have a decent look to them and compliment any room nicely.

Due to room size constraints, the bars look a little off because there is simply no more room to make the closet wider.  Right now, it is about 5′ wide (1.5m approx).  It can stretch out to 8ft(2.25m approx), so it has a lot of capacity.

And so the unpacking continues.

Finally on my way out of #Seoul!

Ok, my wife said to just get in the bus to Sacheon (as opposed to where she was training in Changwon), which is where I thought I was going any ways.  I refunded my ticket to Changwon (for full price surprisingly!), got back on the subway, went to the other bus terminal (Nambu), got a ticket and just made the 9:30 bus to Sacheon. 

I said it once before and I’ll say it again, Korea’s buses are awesome!  They have theses buses that are only 3 seats wide (2 on the left, 1 on the right), they recline and have a leg rest that supports your whole leg.

image

Damn….forgot my towel at my buddies place…..oh well

Aaaaaand I’m still in #Seoul

I am just flabbergasted that I can’t leave this city.  I Missed my bus….by on minute.  Not because I was late getting to the station, oh no.  I was here 15mins early actually but I needed to use the washroom.  I figured no big deal.  A quick sit down job and then on the bus.  The sit down job took longer than anticipated.  In pay because the cleaners chose NOW to closer one of the washrooms.  Ugh.  After a min or two, I decided to find another one.  Found it, was actually closer to my bus bus platform.  Cool.

I don’t understand Korea’s cleaning methods.  It seems they just wipe things down with water because everything was wet.  I also had to remove the bucket from the toilet.  Yeah, I know….wtf right?  It is a dumb left over process from their “hole-in-a-ground” style.  See, with the old you’re, you jittery washed your but and only used toilet paper to dry it off and put that paper in a bucket.  For some reason, this bucket had transitioned into the western style but not the washer, for public toilets at least.  And why they leave then on the toilets when everything else is wet (walks, floors, seat) is beyond me. 

So, here I am, with 4,000 won in my pocket, nothing in my bank account and the next bus costs nearly 10,000 more.  My wife is about to start her training and I have no idea how she might be able to transfer any money to my account.

Can’t leave #Seoul yet it seems…

I’m currently on a bus back to Seoul tonight.  The plan was to stay in Icheon till Wednesday, head into Seoul Wednesday night, stay at a friends and get the early morning bus down to Sacheon.  This has been changed a fair bit now.

See, my wife had some training to go to before she officially starts her contract.  Her contract starts on three first but the training is on the 28th.  Because of how far away it is from Seoul, there is no convenient way to get to the bus terminal, and get on a bus that takes 4 hours, and get to her city in a trainable time for training.

Yesterday we found out that her training is not in her city but Changwon(the capital of the province) 2 hrs away (I think it isn’t that far, it was an exaggeration on their part).  So she gets Todd she’s has to be there instead.  Ok, not a big deal but kinda confused about our stuff arriving in the other city the next day. Then they tell to have me meet then in this same city.  Doesn’t make sense for both of us to be there only to travel again another two hours for me.  Whatever, this process is getting tiresome.

So, now too why I am heading back to Seoul a day early.

A friend of mine has an apartment near where my community club is located.  She only uses that place for most of the well.  She got a real good deal but stays with get parents on weekends or her boyfriend.  Now she is getting rid of the place and has offered her bed (insert obvious joke here) to me for the club.  This is excellent running add I plan on coming back to the club twice a month for the language exchange class I am holding, and of course I won’t travel back down south the same day.  So since she needs to move out this week, I have too come back to Seoul early to move the bed.

This has got to be the single most complicated move I have ever fire.  Even more so than leaving Canada!

Our interim #Korea adventure

A friend letting us stay in her pace white we wait to continue on to our new city in a few days.  One thing I love about getting here is the novel ways we learn about the extreme conservatism (read as being cheap) here.  We are in a building with 4 floors and an elevator.  The elevator will only go to the fourth floor(coincidentally where the landlord lives).

4th floor only

Unfortunately the place we are staying is on the 3rd floor.  So we just take the elevator to the 4th floor and walk down one flight.  Certainly a lot easier than walking up 3 flights of stairs!

But wait…what we do we have here on the 4th floor?

No 5th floor for you!

That’s right.  The landlord wants the rooftop all to himself!  Only HE is allowed to hang his laundry up there to dry.  Only HE is allowed to relax and enjoy the view of the city and the night sky.  Only HE is allowed to be so smug and realize that the average Korean would not question his authority.  I’d go up any ways but I am sure the door to the outside is locked so it would be pointless regardless.

OMG, #Seoul is trying to give us one last screw before we leave!

So, this is our last night before we leave Seoul and we had a good time with time friends.  Now we are heading back to our…umm…temp apartment(see here for the background, specifically, update 4) and my wife wants to take a taxi.  Ok, so she rushes to grab the first taxi she sees.  The old driver was a little confused because he normally doesn’t go into Seoul.  There is usually a hand perv place but they will take you and when they hit the boarder of Seoul, they hit three 20% fare premium.

Now, taxi drivers are the same all over the world.  The rules of the road only superficially apply to them. That means red light are merely a suggestion. Speed limits were logged at with the thought “Oh, that’s nice.” And lane changes happen spontaneously. So,v when I ask in a can, that consistently does 20 km/h UNDER the speed limit, I gotta call bullshit.

Sip, screw this guy. I call the few interpretation line and ask them to ask the driver why he is going so slow. He tells the guy on the phone that he is not familiar with the route. The translator, being s fairly clever fellow, asks him why he doesn’t he just put the address into his GPS? (for the record, all cabbies have GPS units). The cabbie told him he would. When I got the phone back the translator told me shook this and even suggested that wee go to another cab. I had already been thinking that and that is exactly what we did. I didn’t Northey making a dyad over it,, we just paid, said thanks and pretty him go. 30 seconds later we were in s Seoul taxi. That smelled of mariuana. Oh this night is way took much fun not to post this on my blog!

Thankfully, there was no further incident and we made it home just fine and still under a reasonable price.

Now, as long as we get a decent sleep, we can continue with our next stage of our adventure.

I can almost see the end…(update 5)

It’s 2am here and we’ve called it quits for packing.  You know, despite knowing how far in advance, packing never seems to get done early enough…..

Update:

Why, oh why did I pack the peanut butter?  The only thing left to snack on are Kit Kat rip-off(Kik Ker)  chocolate twin-packs.  Well, better than a growling stomach I suppose…

Update 2:

So one small bit of chaos was thrown our way this morning (on the day that we move no less!).  We can’t go to the place we were suppose to go to till sunday now.  The plan was to go there Tonight and stay there till we leave for Sacheon.  Don’t know what happened but now we have a one day delay.  As far is issues goes, this is a small one, albeit rather annoying but we may have one small bit of luck and be able to stay in our current place one more night.

The cat has been safely bordered at a friend’s place till we can bring her back to Sacheon.  Saves us a ton of headaches trying to move her to Icheon and then Sacheon.  She is staying close to where we used to live in Uijeongbu so it was only a simple taxi ride there for her.

Now, let’s see if I can finally finish up the last of the packing in the next 3 hours….

Update 3:

So, moving truck came, got packed and left. Luckily the packing went quickly enough but we still had 10 boxes that would not fit on the truck. Pretty sad for a studio apartment. That and the trucks here are small. Ago we mailed them too the storage place and are now on the subway to said storage place too unload the truck. I finally got something too East after my bagel breakfast and large cafe latte for lunch. A 6000 won box of chicken is always good!

Update 4:

So one last little bit of chaos. We were told that we could stay in out current place tonight yesterday. Then wee get a call that the replacement teacher will need the place tonight. So we had to move to another vacant apartment 4 floors up that the school had saved for another teacher. Seems we still have too much crap and it took 4 trips total to bring it all upstairs. More stuff to mail to the storage area :/ oh, and we also got the notice 30 mins before they said we had to be out. :/

Update 5:

This deserved a post to itself. Read it here.