I’ve been in Korea for nearly a month, but I’m just now moving into my apartment. While I’m happy to have my own place, it was nice staying in a dorm that was close to TESOL class, and I didn’t have to worry about navigating the buses yet.
My apartment is cozy. It’s the smallest apartment I’ve ever lived in, but it has everything I need, and despite the fact it’s winter, it stays warm thanks to Korean floor heating. It’s never fun to come inside from the freezing cold into a chilly apartment.
The smallness of everything here is off-putting for many Americans, especially if you come from the wide open spaces of the midwest like me, but I also live downtown next to a park, tons of restaurants, and a giant mall. If I lived downtown in any city in the world, I would get a smaller space.
I know the person who lived in the apartment before me was a guy. I cringed a bit when I heard that. No offense gentlemen, but I find that sometimes your idea of cleaning is not the same as mine. In fairness, girls can be messy too, but at least we tend to smell better.
It has a little loft, which isn’t tall enough for me stand up in, but it will be good for storage since it’s mostly closets.
The bathroom, windows, and kitchen needed a good scrubbing, and I think I finally have everything clean.
Right now the plan is to find adorable and cheap furniture and decorations on G-Market, but that will probably have to wait until the next paycheck. But I did manage to get a few things to make the apartment more homey.
I’m no Martha Stewart, but it’s a start
One of the biggest draws of working as an English co-teacher in a Korean public school is that the school provides an apartment. In some countries, ESL teachers have to find an apartment on their own and who knows if their salary will be enough for rent. While it’s great not having to search for an apartment in a foreign country or putting down a huge deposit, not getting to pick your own place is always a risk.
If you don’t like the neighborhood, the building, or the layout, you’re pretty much stuck. The school’s not going to give you an unlimited budget to go find the apartment of your dreams.
But you also have people looking out for you if something goes wrong in the apartment like if the hot water isn’t working or the washing machine is broken. I could try and talk to the building manager with my extremely limited Korean, but if you have a serious issue, you probably want to communicate with fluency.
I’m crossing my fingers that everything goes smoothly, but I think I’ll like downtown Cheonan.