With a new job, comes a new apartment. There is usually no choice when it comes to being an English teacher in Korea. I was very comfortable in my home in Bucheon. When I got this job, I knew that staying there wouldn’t be an option as it would have meant an hour commute to work every day. While it didn’t bother me much, I knew that the company wouldn’t agree, just in case I turned up to work late.
While I was happy to have gotten a job in Seoul, I knew that ending up with an apartment as amazing as mine, was going to be impossible. When I was offered the job, it was made very clear that the apartment was going to be small. I asked for pictures, and while they looked terrible, I thought I had to suck it up. There was no way I was going to let such a good job go.
However, the apartment which I was shown in the pictures was nothing like the apartment I was taken to on the Friday that I was supposed to be moving in to my apartment. Although it was made clear that the picture I was shown may not be my apartment, I was shocked.
The place which I am going to have to call my home is so small that I can barely move around. I went back to my home in Bucheon that Friday night and started to repack. I had to throw out more things than I already had since I would be living in a shoebox for a while.
The Saturday after I was shown the apartment, I reluctantly moved my things. I said goodbye to my lovely home in Bucheon and hello to my box in Seoul. I tried my hardest to stay positive. I told myself that it was just somewhere to sleep and that I would hardly spend time there. I thought maybe if I unpacked my things and decorated, it would be better.
So I unpacked, while it made the room a tiny bit better, I still hated the new place. It’s depressing. There is a window, which honestly might as well not be there. There is no sunlight coming through. I worry for Aurora everyday because I know she is used to having a big bright apartment. Her pupils have been dilated since we moved in. Whilst I have read it is okay for cats, I thinking, it’s a bit like torture.
There is terrible brown coloured wallpaper which makes everything seem darker and dirty. It is the most revolting wallpaper you could imagine. Not only is that wallpaper terrible, it is only the accent wall. The rest of the room is what used to be white wallpaper. It is dirty and has stains that I can’t even identify.
I have a single bed. After having a Queen sized bed for over 6 months, I felt like I was going to fall out of the single bed. Not only is it a single, it is also the hardest, must uncomfortable bed I have ever slept in.
The kitchen, or what is supposed to be a kitchen, is so tiny. I have one electric stove hob thingy, which is built into the counter. The cupboards are a terribly bright orange colour. There is literally no room for a kettle, toaster, or any kind of utensil stand or things that you usually have on a kitchen counter. Also, if I wanted to use that hob, I would have to put on my shoes because the only floor space there is the place where you take of your shoes as you walk into the box.
And, right next to it, 1 step away and I am not exaggerating, is the bathroom.
The bathroom is tiny and literally everything gets wet when I have a shower. It has the smallest window you could ever imagine so I smell mould every time I walk in to my apartment, even if the window is open. It is also a terrible brown and grey tile scheme.
Having said that, the bathroom is my favourite part of the box. That’s because it is the newest and cleanest part of the apartment.
On my first day of work, I bumped into the director in the lift. He asked me how my apartment was and so I told him how things were broken and that it is too small and dirty and everything that was wrong. He told me to tell the coordinator so that they can fix things. I told him everything because he was the first person to ask me.
The next day, the guy who organises apartments and stuff for the foreign teachers asked me what my door code was. I asked why and he told me that the director wants to see my apartment and the apartment of the other girls that live in that building.
I was a bit reluctant, but the guy reassured me that it was going to work in my benefit and he hinted at us possibly being moved. I told him my door code and then I was told that because I complained to the director, who apparently does not usually speak to the teachers, he wants to see the condition of the apartment and help us a bit.
He hasn’t come to see my apartment yet. But another person in a high position told me that when the contract of that apartment ends, I will be moved to a bigger and better place. The catch is, the contract finishes in March. So I have to wait about 4 months.
I have decorated the place a bit better now but it is still far too small. I guess I just have to wait a while and hope that the next apartment I am moved to is better. It will be my 8th apartment since moving to Korea.
But as I mentioned before, the job is amazing. I just feel that I would do a better job if my apartment was nicer as my mood would be better.
Wish me luck!