As you must have guessed, our apartment move was a success, and all the essential systems are hooked up once again. We’re still trying to figure out how to gracefully shoehorn all our aquired crap (which is really a lot less than most couples I know) into the considerably smaller digs, but we’ll manage. The new house is closer to the university, and brand new (we’re the first people to move in to the building, a low-rise with 10 apartments), and it’s much quieter. The perpetually-busy highway 50 metres from our old place is rapidly-fading bad memory. The new neighbourhood couldn’t be described as upscale, but it’s nicer than the Land Of The Lost we’ve been in for the last 18 months, and has all the amenities steps from our door, including a supermarket that delivers beer (…er, and food, too).
Some observations on moving house in Korea : moving companies do everything. They showed up, packed everything, emptied and cleaned the fridge, cleaned the house, moved everything to the new place, cleaned the new place, unpacked everything, loaded up the fridge and closets, and went away. I don’t know if this is what happens in North America (I’ve never used movers before), but I suspect it’s not quite as easy. All I had to do was stand around, drink coffee, and point. It cost a bomb, but the university footed the bill, as I had to move at their request. Very low stress, indeed.
The DSL connection is the same 4Mb pipe I had before (She Who Must Be Obeyed ignored my wheedling and nixed the monster broadband), but thanks to the new wiring, I guess, feels snappier. I compare the process to Australia, where it took literally months to get someone to come and install the service after I’d ordered it, and approximately 4 hours onsite to get it working : here, it took 4 hours from calling Korea Telecom for a guy to show up, and after 15 minutes in the house, he bowed and bailed, and I had my connection back. Amazing.
Renting an apartment works differently here than it does anywhere else I’ve ever been. The university provides my accommodation, but I was involved in securing a place (they’ve sold the apartment I lived in before), to make sure that they found something acceptable. Most people do not pay monthly rent – what they do is give the landlord a massive deposit, and pay either nothing or very little on a monthly basis. The university had to pay the equivalent of about C$100,000 to secure this small 3-bedroom place, and there is no rent to pay.
Needless to say, it’s difficult indeed for young people in particular to live apart from their parents, and still quite rare. Whether that’s because of the way apartments are rented, or whether apartments are rented that way in part to discourage young people moving out, I don’t know.
Anyway. I’m back to work at the University on Monday, after about 10 weeks of holiday, and looking forward to it. I really do love my job.


Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. That’s pretty much how moving companies work over here. Except they show up four hours late, don’t pack or clean anything for you, throw your stuff unboxed in the back of a truck, triple the price quoted and hold your belongings hostage until you pay up, then dump it on your front lawn and drive away. Laughing.
    (Or so I’ve read.)

  2. I don’t know why the Korean immagrants living in the US don’t go into the moving business, if this is the level of service that they provide. They’d drive everybody else out of business as soon as their rep got around.
    Your story about Korea telecom made me green with envy. This post makes Korea sound like a dream.

  3. Wow, removalists who move stuff, telecoms who provide telecoms – you are surely living in some sort of nirvana. Well, apart from the pollution, overcrowding and noise, anyway 🙂 I have just had the opposite experience here, I am sad to say 🙁

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