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…..


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.

How much stuff do you have?

As of this moment, we have packed 20 boxes.  20 BOXES!  Sure, they aren’t large boxes but damn, this is insane.  I’m not even counting the suit cases already packed with off-season stuff.


I stool have yet to find a solution to move my cat and I got tomorrow and Friday left to do so.  I Have put an ad on Craigslist.


I have also asked two friends, who have vehicles, and one can’t do it. I’m waiting for the other to let me know.

Right now, I am acoffee shop, writhing for some friends so wet can have done strawberries and champagne. A kind of small going away party. Seems that is how things go this time. Not everyone was able to make it out too our Indian fiod & 노래방(Karaoke) event last weekend.

Moving in Korea…too much stuff

Moving can be stressful. Especially when you are at the mercy of someone else and their rules. Having a gap between contracts and owning a pet is a rough situation to be in. Hotels won’t take pets. Other teachers generally don’t have pets and are not interested in upsetting their own environment. On top of that, we are up to packing 13 boxes so far and still got another 5 or so to pack. Too much stuff.

This time I am utilizing Evernote because our stuff has to go into storage. I am taking pictures of the box contents, numbering the boxes and adding a green stripe of tape to differentiate ours from anyone else’s while in storage. Moving twice because of the gap in my wife’s contracts is severely annoying. I am hoping we move down south, like it enough to stay there a while and get our own place for a few years.

I am also going to really work harder and getting rid of stuff. Getting tired of doing this. That and being in one place should make life a lot easier.

Sigh. Can’t wait till this is over.


Moving in Korea

There are many things that are similar between Korea and Canada.  The first is moving.  Everyone had to move at some point in their life.  So we pack up our things, sell what we don’t need and give away other stuff.  Korea is no different in this respect.  Usually English teachers have a lot less stuff to move because now the airlines only let you bring one suit case as opposed to two in previous years. What is hard is when you leave a house and move to a bachelors apartment.  Our first place was tiny.  It got even more ridiculous when we had to hang laundry on a rack because dryers are a rare thing fort people to have here.  A part of that whole conservatism mentality.

Our second pace was nearly twice the size of our first place.  So we went a but far to populate it with done typical home trappings.  We bought a dining table for the kitchen area, some extra dressers to put our clothes in and such.  Then, our third place was a size between our first and second.  So we had to downsize again.  Luckily I have a place that we could put unused shelves (see Don’s Open Brain House) and we sold one of the dressers.

Now we are facing our forth place and we have no idea how big it is.  Because of the town its in, we suspect it should be bigger than our current place but smaller than our previous, we just don’t know.  So we will be downsizing a little and at least hope there is room for us to bring our bikes at least.

Now the next problem is time. See, my wife’s next contract starts on the first of March but her current contract ends on the 23rd.  That is a nice big gap on limbo to be in with stuff and a cat.

So here the story on the plan.

Like any other job adopting phase, you never know of or when any potential jobs show up. So you apply too many jobs that you think might be a good match for you. My wife was offered a job in Icheon and she emailed a reply that should accept. Remember that arrogant interviewer I mentioned? Guess what, he offered my wife the job. This job is a better one than the Icheon one and will help out her career more, not to mention a higher pay. The only downside is that it is a little bit more remote. Still, only 2hrs from Busan, and about 30 minutes from the noticeably bigger town of Jinju. When faced with this situation, what would you do? Keep the one you only said you would take (no signed contract yet) our take the one that you really do want?

This is where you have to choose to either adapt to your environment or give in to your soft side. My wife choose to adapt and accepted the more remote job. Sure, no one likes to leave someone else hanging and my wife is no different. One must keep in mind that theses recruiters are only out for themselves and none else. Once you have your job you are generally on your own. Yes there are decent recruiters out there that you can talk to and keep in touch with but they are few and far between. Now, that being said, my wife happened to learn that a teacher friend of hers is looking for a job in Icheon! She passed along the info to the recruiter and it looks like that person got the job. Everyone was taken care of, which is more than what I can say about some recruiters.

So, how does this relate to moving? You know that week where we are in limbo? We really only had one concern, our cat. I really don’t want to leave her alone in some uncaring cat hotel. There are few teachers here that want to look after another animal in their own home, so I was getting a little concerned but had faith that an answer would show. I’ll give you three guesses who offered for us to stay with her for a week, and the first two guesses don’t count. Yep, that teacher who got the job my wife turned down. As for our stuff, the recruiter we are now using has a storage area that we can put our stuff in for the time we need before we move. Everything had set itself up nicely :D

Keep an eye out for an update on this processes as it unfolds over the next few weeks.