As many of you know, I’ve become more Asian than any of my legit Asian friends back home, as I have signed on for a third year of life on the peninsula. I know, I know I’m crazy, but I really enjoy this whack continent that has become my second home! Who’d have thought!
One of my conditions for staying was that I had to move out of the no-man’s-land Danggogae, and into a lively, poppin place with more excitement and people walking around than just the barreling ajummas and drunk ajussis. In June I had to sign away my studio in North Korea and begin my hunt for an apartment elsewhere. I was a little nervous at first because I knew I’d be broke as a joke and that I wasn’t going to find an apartment as nice as the one I had been living in.
In Korea, when you rent an apartment you will typically go through a realtor and then have to pay them a realtor fee if they find you something, AND put down something called key money, which is essentially like a deposit, and when you move out you get that money back. Most apartments require anywhere between 5-10 million won in key money (roughly $5,000-$10,000). Some people’s schools will pay this amount, or some people just have a crazy amount of money in savings, neither of which I had! So, I was working with a measly 2 million won, plus the 500,000won/month that I will get each month for housing allowance. It didn’t help that the area I wanted to live in is super expensive.
Luckily I had Jee to help me apartment bargain hunt, and we found a a great little 1 bedroom apartment in the Sungshin Women’s University neighborhood just two subway stops north of Hyehwa, where I originally wanted to live. I’m just between two great subway lines, which now brings my commute to anywhere down to a huge fraction of the time it used to be.
Not to mention, I’m way more centrally located, my friend Matt is a 5 minute walk away, there are TONS of amazing shops and cafes, AND there are YOUNG HUMAN BEINGS walking around everywhere!!!! HELLZ NAE. When I walk to the subway in the morning, it’s about a 10 minute stroll along the river, which is a nice little cherry on top that I’m convinced has made me more wide eyed and bushy tailed at work. Ka-ching!
With that said, last weekend with Jee’s help, I packed up the bed of a Bongo truck with furniture, boxes and about 20 backpacks, threw the last of my unorganized trash in a pile for my crazy maintenance man to sift through, and kissed apartment 603 at Bernard Vil a hearty SEE YA NEVER AGAIN!
I’ll post pictures of my new abode as soon as it doesn’t look like a college dorm. In the mean time, I have a lot of Pinteresting and organizing and interior decorating to do, so you’ll get to see once it’s pretty.
For now, know I’m happy and moved and settled, and am now off to go explore some more of my new hood! YAYAYUYUH!