Sunday, August 18, 2013

my studio

Here, at long last, are some pics of my new digs—third batch of pics out of four. Now that you've had the grand tour of my previous apartment, you'll immediately notice, and appreciate, the difference in size between that domicile and this one. I'm a calm, sedentary type of person, so the lack of physical space doesn't leave me claustrophobic, but the memory of all that breathing room in Front Royal, Virginia, does affect my attitude toward this new place. I'll give my studio this: it cleans up nicely. This building, comically named Healing Town despite being only a single building, is in a neighborhood that's still under construction (as you'll see in the next group of photos). This really is a brand-spanking-new neighborhood, and as advertised, it's only a few minutes' sweaty walk from the CUD campus's rear entrance.

There are only eleven photos in this batch, and that makes for a very brief tour. Let's begin at the beginning, then, shall we?

The minuscule "anteroom," with just enough room for one person to remove his shoes:

The same view, but with the kudujang (shoe shelf) closet open:

Here's a wide view of the main living space, including a glimpse of the kitchen and bathroom. Note the bed with no bedding. I've been using a laundry bag stuffed with clothing as a pillow:

A shot of the kitchenette/laundry from just outside its sliding-door entrance:

Another shot of the kitchen, this time showing the fridge and microwave, both of which are humming away and functioning nicely (well, OK, only the fridge is humming):

A shot of the bathroom:

Another shot of the bathroom, which unifies toilet, sink, and shower:

The bathroom's floor dries remarkably quickly despite the humidity. That's a plus.

A final view of the bathroom:

A second view of the main living space, this time from a kitchenette vantage:

And now, the cute little space that Koreans call a "veranda":

The veranda again:

And that's really it. Not much more to reveal than what I've shown you. Hope this group of pics gives you some ambient sense of my new digs. I'd say "Come visit sometime," but as you can see, space is mighty tight, and I doubt I'll be entertaining guests for the next few months, anyway—not until I've gotten my place furnished a little bit better.



Bratfink said...

Exactly HOW does that shower work?

Kevin Kim said...

Good question! As with many Korean bathrooms, the entire bathroom floor doubles as the shower's floor. The shower head, as you see, is like an American shower head attached to a metal hose. There's a knob on the sink's faucet that allows the user to switch back and forth between "shower mode" and "sink mode."

Many Koreans—perhaps rightly—treat their shower floors with caution. As a hygienic measure, they often prefer to wear plastic sandals/flip-flops into the bathroom as a way to keep their feet from touching the wet, possibly bacteria-ridden, floor.

As a precaution against contracting hepatitis through damaged skin, sandal-wearing is, I think, a sound practice, but personally, I can't stand the extra hassle of putting on sandals every time I step into the bathroom, so I just clean my floor with astringent cleansers every so often.

Part of the hygiene issue also has to do with how quickly or slowly the floor dries. My personal preference—and I'll do this once I've got the money to buy one—is to blow an electric fan across the floor to accelerate drying. That same fan will be useful when drying laundry (Koreans don't believe in clothes dryers, apparently; it's rare to find one in a Korean residence).

John McCrarey said...

Well, if I were a realtor I'd call your place "cozy, easy to maintain, efficient, and well-lighted".

Moderately priced as well. Looks like you've got everything you need. And dim sum.

Kevin Kim said...


Har har. It's spacious if you're a macaque.

Bratfink said...

And the only oven you have is a microwave oven?

Rhesus said...

I resemble that remark.

Kevin Kim said...


Alas, yes. Few Korean residences have ovens; I'll have to buy a small one if I plan to do any real baking. Baking just isn't a big part of Korean cuisine—at least not yet. Baked goods are still largely the province of actual bakeries and restaurants, not of individual residences.

Charles said...

Hey, someone with a kitchen smaller than mine! I could handle probably everything else, but that kitchen... *shudder*

On the plastic slippers: in addition to hygienic concerns, they function partly to keep socks dry (as people generally wear socks around the house--although I've gone barefoot this entire summer), and partly to keep you from slipping on the floor and cracking open your skull. My sister-in-law fell and broke her arm in the bathroom a few years back. Dangerous places, Korean bathrooms.

Kevin Kim said...


Point taken re: slippers.

As for the kitchen... sigh. I'll do what I can with what I've got. Sperwer's right: I have a ton of kitchen items waiting for me at his place; seems stupid to double up by buying the same items right here in Hayang. But shipping all my stuff down south is going to cost me, and I may not be in a financial position to have it all shipped until October at the earliest. So a certain amount of doubling-up may be inevitable, assuming I don't spend all my time in the local restos.