Tuesday, February 10, 2015

settling in

My nightstand finally arrived. It's smaller than I thought it would be, but still serviceable, and still a legitimate nightstand. I look forward to using it properly once I have a bed to go with it. The delivery guy called at 8:13AM to say he'd be along with the furniture... then he didn't show up until 3:30PM. A worse case of "Korean time" would be hard to imagine. Losing patience, I tried calling the number he'd called me from around 2PM; the phone rang and rang, but no one picked up. Finally, the guy called from a different number when he was in my neighborhood, unable to figure out where my building was, so I guided him to me by pointing out the salient landmarks—a church on one end of the street and a children's taekwondo academy on the other—with my building number written clearly on my building's exterior.

I've basically moved from a smaller shoebox (i.e., my yeogwan for the past six months) to a bigger shoebox, but I'm thankful for the extra breathing room. Comparisons between my new place and my studio in Hayang are inevitable. The new place is smaller: the Hayang studio had a "veranda" space in which I could hang all my laundry and store extra boxes; this new studio has none. By contrast, I now have more bookshelf and cabinet space thanks to the furniture I brought with me, so my new studio's clothes closet now functions as a storage closet, thus clearing up plenty of floor space for me. I'll need that space for my future bed. The old studio had a gas range; the new studio has an electric range, which will prove cheaper to run: gas in Korea is expensive while electricity is relatively cheap.

When you unbox and move all your possessions into place, though, it becomes obvious that you need to buy more stuff. In my case, another two small bookshelves will do wonders for my kitchenette: I'll be able to store pots, pans, and other tableware in the shelves, thus leaving my meager cabinets free to store food. My new fridge is the same size as my old fridge, and in both cases it would have been nice to have something bigger. I won't buy a bigger fridge until I'm in my new place come August. Returning to this moment: I also need to buy a dish rack on which to drain and dry my washed dishes and flatware; the bathroom needs a rust-proof shower-curtain rod on which I can hang my towels high: the current setup is ridiculous because my shower blasts water straight into the towels hanging on the opposing wall. My desk, donated to me by the intrepid Joe Walther, could use a 3-drawer caddy to store stationery items—pens, paper, staplers, scissors, glue sticks, paper clips, etc. I also need to buy a microwave. I think most of these things are purchasable either online or at a used-something-or-other store; it's just a matter of finding such stores during my free time.

And I don't have much free time. As vacation draws to a close, I suddenly find myself buried under several projects: finishing up the proofing of the 281-page novel manuscript of a friend of mine, creating textbook content for the Golden Goose, and designing (plus teaching) an entire 8-hour curriculum for KMA, all of which has to happen sometime before the end of the month. Also happening before the end of the month: prepping the curriculum for the coming semester at Dongguk. I think, in recent blog posts, I've sounded as though the coming semester simply doesn't count, but that's not true: Dongguk is my day job, after all; it's the entity that's sponsoring my E-1 visa. Which reminds me: I'm also working on transitioning to an F-4 visa. I'll need my relatives' help with that.

So there's plenty to keep me busy during the final weeks of February. Better to be busy than bored, I like to say. I'm not sure how I'm going to fit walking into this bear of a schedule, but once I get my bed, I think I'll be able to think straighter and figure the scheduling out. Meanwhile, it's good just to be able to settle into a place where I can cook, sleep, shower, poop, read, type, and think in relative comfort, without having to worry about sex-crazed neighbors or poor air and water quality. I'll be getting back my three million won at the end of July, so that'll be another cash boost. Things are good. I'm settling in.


1 comment:

Charles said...

I love the completely incompetent delivery men here.