Thursday, January 29, 2015

Noota Doolyst

I've got a new to-do list, now that I'm going to be moving north to Ilsan in about a week.

1. Rework budget to reflect the new financial reality.
2. Sign contract for the new place.
3. Find out whether there's a branch of Daegu Bank in Ilsan so I can transfer funds easily.
4. Find boxes.
5. Box stuff up in preparation for move.
6. Register change of address at school, at Immigration, and at the bank.
7. Buy used bed frame, used desk, used table and chairs and clothing rack in Seoul.
8. Buy new mattress, blankets, and sheets in Ilsan.
9. Settle accounts with yeogwan ajeossi and ajumma.
10. Give the yeogwan room a final cleaning.
11. Find a yongdal moving service that can take all my crap up to Ilsan for fairly cheap.
12. Buy a Wi-Fi hub to free up my computer and phone inside my new residence.

I'm losing three million won to this damn security deposit, but I'll be getting it back in July or August when I move out and head down to Daechi-dong. I also won't be able to save quite as much as I'd saved before, but that's not a huge issue: at most, my new budget will be 2-3 months behind my current budget. Not tragic: I'm still on track to be debt-free by age 49, barring disaster, disease, and/or love and marriage.

One inconvenience: I teach at KMA on February 7, and I'm moving to Ilsan on February 5. That doesn't give me much time to settle in before I suddenly have a shitload of work. But no matter: it's better to be busy than to be bored. (And there's always the chance that KMA will cancel my February gig if there aren't enough students to attend it. I always knew this might be a possibility, and am ready to adjust my budget to reflect the changing reality.)

After the 7th, though, things ought to smooth out and I'll be back in vacation mode for another week or two before I have to buckle down and prep for the coming semester. I'll spend a lot of that time exploring the Ilsan/Goyang region; I saw mountains in the distance when I went to Ilsan earlier this week, and those look rather promising.

Luckily, I live next to several markets where the vendors leave plenty of empty cardboard boxes lying about at night, so I should have no trouble at all scrounging up boxes for the upcoming move. Cleaning the yeogwan will basically mean leaving the place less filthy than when I arrived. This might mean cleaning under the bed, which is going to be a frightening experience. Finding used furniture shouldn't be an issue; I live next door to the Euljiro district, which is the most awesome district in the world for all home furnishings, from floor tile to porcelain toilets to pipes to kitchen/cooking supplies to lamps to furniture to hardware. This district is essentially one giant, sprawling Home Depot. If I can't find what I need here, it can't be found. And I know exactly where the used-furniture guys are located.

My new place isn't furnished, which is why I'll need to buy a bed, table, desk, and so on. It does, however, have a kitchenette that isn't much different from the one I worked with in Hayang. Meager, but better than nothing. There's also a washing machine, thank Jeebus, which means I won't have to rely on the stinky communal machine that I currently use. When my clothes hang-dry after a session in that machine, they end up smelling slightly fetid. Double-plus ungood. I'm going to avoid using the ondol and will stick to my electric space heater: in Korea, especially in the winter, gas is hellishly expensive, but electricity isn't. So I'll just keep my thermostat set on "onsu" (hot water) instead of on "ondol" (heated floor). Warm showers are fine; warm floors are not.

I'm a little blown away by the suddenness and rapidity of this life-transition, but I think it'll be worth it in the end. One final semester at Dongguk, then I move back down to the southeast part of Seoul—into new, palatial digs—and really start to earn some cash.


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