Last night, long after midnight and well into the witching hour, I walked about 5,000 steps as I prowled the local neighborhood sidewalks and alleyways in a surreal, streetlit search for empty cardboard boxes. Because this is the Eulji district, i.e., the hardware district, I thought such boxes would be plentiful—tossed negligently onto trash piles.* My goal was (and is) to acquire fifteen boxes, all about the size of an American apple box. Last night, I managed to snag seven: some bigger than an apple box, some smaller. I'm not a fan of large boxes for moving: such boxes mean fewer trips up and down the stairs, but they can also become hellishly heavy and correspondingly weak at the seams, putting them in danger of bursting open while they're being carried. So: bigger boxes = light, bulky items only.
I walked all over the Eulji district today, looking to buy furniture for the move. Might as well take advantage of the fact that I live in Hardware and Furniture Central, right? Other items, like my bed and a decent fridge, can be bought once I'm settled in Goyang. My comparison shopping for a decent kitchen table proved fruitful: I went from tables going for a ridiculous W450,000 to tables being sold for W200,000 to a large but useful metal folding table going for only W40,000, sold by a guy with a Daegu accent. (I had trouble understanding him; he had trouble understanding me.) I've bought that table and have put it on hold; I'll collect it from the guy on move-out day.
Tomorrow, Saturday, I'll be going to campus to update my mailing address. The office ladies told me that I could enter the update myself into our database. After that, I'll visit a local furniture store that I visited today; I need to negotiate with the gentleman there regarding a chair and some bookshelves. He was willing to sell me a desk, an office chair, and two bookshelves for what I thought was a pretty reasonable price, but later on he texted that I wouldn't be able to take the floor models on display: he'd have to order the furniture, and it would arrive by next Friday—a day too late for my purposes. So I need to go back and see him, face-to-face, to try and persuade him to part with the floor samples, possibly for a slightly cheaper price. In the meantime, my friend and former Sookmyung colleague-across-campus Joe Walther has told me he has a large desk that I can have for free—the best price of all—so I no longer need to buy a desk from the furniture guy. Which rocks.
Saturday evening, I'm attending the wedding of a former Daegu Catholic U. coworker of mine, so I'll need to pony up W100,000 for a white-envelope gift. Ah, the money... how it loves to leave me.
Made an interesting discovery today when I visited the Seoul branch of Daegu Bank (also located on Eulji Street, but not where Google Maps said it would be; I assume the branch must have moved and that Google hasn't yet updated the location): I can wire-transfer up to W6 million via ATM. This is a hell of difference from Shinhan Bank, which limits ATM wire transfers to a maximum of W600,000 per day. But this is good to know, as I've been using my DGB account as my "Do Not Touch" account for the funds I've been saving up. I can simply keep using that accont for big money transfers in the future.
I still need to take care of change-of-address issues with Shinhan Bank and Immigration. You may recall that I had to pay a fine, last year, for not having informed Immigration of my move to the Chungmuro area. I won't be making that mistake again.
It's going to be a busy Saturday. And a busy week coming up.
*In fact, I saw tons of empty boxes this afternoon, but I know they'll be mostly gone by nightfall—collected by the old ajeossis who gather up such boxes for money, or picked up by the trash service.