Posted in Korea, Uncategorized

Home away from home

Hey, guys!

It’s been a while since my last blog.

I finally handed in my resignation and have been trying to find another job so life has been a bit crazy. But I have a short an hour before class so I will blog!

I actually prepared the content for this blog a while ago. As you can probably tell form the title, this post will be about where I live. I think I made the title sound more enthusiastic than I actually am about where I live. You guys will see why!

Let’s start with some history.
Since I moved to Korea in 2014, I have lived in 7 houses. Two of them I was just crashing with friends while trying to find a job. Three of those houses were a very decent size and I fell in love with one of them because I had a lovely bathroom and a big balcony. Those are very rare to find in Korea if you are living somewhere that isn’t an apartment or house. I then moved to Seoul and I lived in the apartment which is below where I am living now. I had the chance to move one floor up when another teacher finished working here. Finally, the place where I am living now.

When I moved into this apartment, I had a horrible time. The internet wasn’t working, it has 1/3 the size of my last place, it was a basement apartment, it was dirty, the wallpaper was a disgusting poo colour and there were dead bugs in my bed. On top of all of that, I couldn’t fit all of my things in to the place so I had to throw out a bunch of stuff. It was not a pleasant experience.

My place is called a ‘1.5 room’ meaning the kitchen is separate from the bedroom, but I must tell you, there is just a door, which I can’t open fully, that separates my bedroom from my kitchen. The size of the place is tiny. I would consider it to be a ‘goshiwon’ which is like a dorm room. It is smaller than a ‘one room’, which is what I was told this place was. It is so tiny, my fridge is next to my bed. Literally, I don’t have to stand up to get something out of my fridge.

Anyway! I should calm down on telling you guys the negatives of my place and give you some images. I tried really hard to make my room cozy, so I hope you guys enjoy it!

My kitchen and bathroom are both tiny right? It’s okay. As much as I hate this place, I only have one month left and I have actually gotten used to it now. When it is tidy and clean, like in this video, I suppose it isn’t too bad. Maybe I have just gotten used to it.

The kitchen is so tiny that I feel restricted and I hardly cook. There is no counter space for me to prepare food on. That is the hardest thing to accept. Apart from that, I really hate the orange colour of the cupboards especially against the green tiles. I am also used to cooking with a gas stove. This is the first time I have used an electric stove and  I have to say, they are so hard to cook with.

The bathroom, I had issues with when I moved in. Actually the apartment downstairs was the tiniest bit smaller than the one I am in now. The ceiling in this one is higher. It is annoying when I have a shower that everything gets wet. I have to take out Aurora’s litter and hide the toilet tissue in the cupboard so it does not get wet. But hey, a bathroom that has a toilet that flushes and water for a shower is something that other people don’t have. I have to be grateful for the things I have.

Okay, now time for the bedroom! And the most unusual thing, the fridge.

Yep. There is the fridge. Right next to my bed!

Although it is small, I hope you guys like the decoration because I did try really hard. Actually, watching over the video, it looks much better than it does in real life. Or maybe I just have the bad first impression still stuck in my head.

I wish I had videos of my house back home in London. The difference is 100% noticeable.

The biggest differences are the fact that my kitchen is not big enough for me to actually cook in, the fridge is not in the kitchen, there is no living room and there is no bathtub or shower cubicle.

The thing I do like about my place is that it is a good location. I think that regardless of where you live in Seoul it is good location because the transport system is great! Just like London.
I am trying really hard to think of other good things about this place, but nothing is coming to mind!

At the end of the day I am just thankful for having a roof over my head.

So, what do you guys think? Am I overreacting? Did I decorate it well? Aurora is cute, right?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Also let me know if there are similarities or differences in your homes. I’m curious! If any has a similar blog post to this or wants to make one in response, leave the link in the comment box!

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Korea, Uncategorized

The box.

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!