So, this is it. The one you’ve all been waiting for. My Korean apartment. The demand for this blog has been overwhelming. The pressure has made it such a daunting task that it’s taken almost a year for me to tackle it. Not really, I’m just SUPER lazy. And I’ve been waiting for a good time, when my apartment was clean and orderly and the ceiling wasn’t falling off. And I’ve finally accepted the fact that the ceiling will ALWAYS be falling off. C’est la vie. This is probably the topic I researched the most before I came to Korea. I watched videos until I got motion sick from all of the Blair Witch style filming (I apologize in advance if mine is shot similarly). And no amount of time on Youtube could have prepared me for this. My Pepto-Bismol palace. It looked like it belonged in Hello Kitty’s playhouse. I know what you’re thinking, “But Megan, you said in your very last blog that you really liked pink.” It’s true, friends, I do love me some pink. But I’ve never been inclined to decorate anything but a nursery in that color. My bathroom is pink, the “tile” in my kitchenette is at least 3 different shades of pink, my refrigerator is pink, my wardrobe has pink, sparkly flowers on it and the original bedding was an atrocious shade of pink. Add to that my insanely pink luggage and almost no other furniture to speak of. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. I immediately stripped the bedding and replaced it with the quilt I had brought from home. I relocated the fridge next to the kitchenette so at least all of the pink in the kitchen was is a designated area. I keep the bathroom door closed so no pink can escape from it. And, over time, I have added furniture and decor so that it doesn’t resemble it’s Barbie’s Dream House beginnings. Much. Aside from the bedding, the other great change I had to make right off the bat was the toilet seat. Who knew a toilet seat could be such a house warmer-upper (or whatever)? My original toilet seat was puffy, like the kind at your grandma’s house. *shudder* Also pink, it had an image of Hello Kitty on top and mold all over the underside. *double shudder* I couldn’t even clean it. I just had to go buy a new one. I spent 55 freaking dollars on the least hideous toilet seat I could find. It is clear, hard plastic (a definite must in my books) with glitter and pink flowers inside the plastic. Don’t judge me. Like I said, it was the least hideous I could find. Just about the time I made my apartment feel home-y, the kitchen ceiling started peeling off. It has now been about 8 months and, despite my greatest efforts, no one seems to care about fixing it. I’m afraid one day I’ll come home and have to duck under my ceiling to get into my bedroom. Don’t suggest duct tape. I’ve already tried that.
Some other fun facts about my apartment: I have a 2 burner stove and no oven. No dishwasher or garbage disposal. I have to manually turn on the gas if I want to turn on the stove (And then remember to turn it off so my apartment doesn’t explode. Sometimes I have trouble with that part.). My refrigerator is shorter than any member of the lollipop guild. The heating is in the floor. I have to turn the heater on and wait ages for the heat to come up through the floor and heat my whole apartment. Needless to say, my heating bill in the winter was out of control. I have to turn the hot water on before I can take a shower. In the winter, I have to wait a good 15 minutes to take a shower. In the summer, I can pretty much get in immediately, except that it’s started doing this thing where it likes to shut off mid-shower and I have to get out and try and fix it, shampoo in hair and all. Today I got to do it twice, so that was special. My washing machine is in my bathroom. I have no dryer. Thank god I live around the corner from a laundromat, because otherwise I would have to use a drying rack like most people in Korea do. And homie don’t play that. I NEED for my clothes to be dried in a dryer. So I’m a little prissy. Whatever, I’m over it. My walls are made of concrete, so you can’t really hang anything from the walls. I managed to find one sweet spot in my bedroom so I can hang my calendar. The sun shines directly into my room in the mornings, and there is also a streetlight that shines into my room all night long. Since I sleep about as well as the princess and the pea, I had to find a way to block that light out. The sheets I originally brought with me were too small for the bed, so I pinned them into the faux crown molding above my window and ghetto rigged some curtains (since I couldn’t get actual curtains, as they don’t attach easily to concrete walls). Again, I know what you’re thinking, “Megan, surely an eye mask would have been an easier solution?” True, dear reader, true. Except that I kept waking up thinking I was blind. So that, my friends, is my apartment in a nutshell. Click the following link if you’d like to see the video I’ve submitted to MTV Korea in an attempt to revive the show “Cribs”:check it out.
Disclaimer: To anyone that might have stumbled upon my blog researching Korean apartments, nothing will prepare you for what you get. From what I have seen, there isn’t a uniform apartment style. Every apartment I have seen has been vastly different from every other apartment I have seen. I have never seen any other like mine. By all means, continue researching. Just don’t get any preconceived notions of what you’re going to end up with. Also, your apartment is probably going to be pretty ghetto by American standards. You’ll get used it.