Saturday, January 31, 2015

one errand, one task, one wedding

I thought I'd have two errands to do today: (1) visit campus and do my change of address, and (2) visit the local furniture store and negotiate with the owner re: delivering furniture versus just taking the display samples from the store. The second errand is no longer necessary thanks to the intrepid Joe Walther, who is also offering to give me a chair along with a large computer desk, gratis. That saves me W200,000, and all I have left to buy, before I move, is a pair of smallish bookshelves. I can put the money I save here toward the larger expenses that await me when I move to Ilsan: a bed, a mattress, and a decent-sized fridge/freezer.

So I've got just the one errand to perform: go to campus and update my address. There's isn't even a need to do that today: I've got the rest of February.

Later this evening, I want to start boxing up my possessions. Last night, I successfully scavenged another seven boxes, so I now have my fifteen. I met my yeogwan ajumma on the stairs as I was hauling those boxes up to my room; she saw the boxes and immediately asked, "You're moving, aren't you?" I had wanted to talk with her and her husband formally about this, but since she was asking right at that moment, I thought, What the hell, and said yes: I was moving. "Because it's too cold in your room?" she asked, genuinely distressed. I told her there was no problem (I'd bought a space heater, after all); I was moving because I have to teach classes at our Ilsan campus. I also asked her to confirm that I wouldn't need to pay another month's rent because my January rent covers me through February 17; she said that was true. I reminded her that she had charged me only W350,000 for the first month (I had looked through my bank records a few days earlier and had already mapped out how this part of the conversation would go), and I gallantly offered to pay her the remaining W50,000. She chuckled and said that would be fine. Who says no to an extra fifty bucks, right? The ajumma scolded me for bringing in my boxes: "We've got lots of boxes in storage!" she said. "All you had to do was ask!" I told her that what I had done was okay with me (scavenging in the night was actually kind of entertaining, but that notion would have been hard to explain with my limited Korean); she nodded tiredly and sent me on my way.

One errand, then, to be done in a few minutes: visit campus, make address updates. One task, to be done later tonight: start boxing up my possessions. And one wedding to attend down in Gangnam this afternoon: that of a former coworker of mine. While I'm on campus, I'll need to purchase the classic white envelope and stuff it with the standard W100,000 wedding gift. (At least, W100,000 is what we po' people give. The rich probably give more.)

Hovering in the background is the fact that I need to walk 21,000 steps by midnight if I'm finally to beat my November step record. I did pretty well this month, step-wise; just one... more... little... push... and I'm over the top.


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