The countdown has literally begun; I have 33 days until my last class, 70 days until I finish my contract and 95 days until Ji and I Board a plane and tell this place, “Jal ga”. Both of us are really looking forward to leaving Korea. It’s not that it has been terrible but there are some things that are worth explaining later on. On the other hand, there are some things we will especially miss.
Despite this apartment being a humble, original 80’s copy of a brick apartment that can be found all throughout Korea, It will be missed. The heat that radiates from our bedroom ceiling for a few hours at night in the warmer months, after the sun bakes the exterior all day. The drafty old doors and windows that contribute to the arctic temperatures. That door’s, freaking bottom lock; being locked out and using every form of communication possible except Korean, to get the landlord to lend me his key. The un-insulated, funky, slightly iridescent, champagne pink wallpaper covered block walls that would transfer the bitter Siberian currents right into our room.
This place has been a refuge from the overly controlled but yet somehow too chaotic mess that Seoul can be. Our kitchen has been our lab. I learned to make my own tahini, spicy garlic dill pickles, made tons of progress in perfecting my pita/naan game. Where Ji blended up some green juice and smoothie combinations that I would look at suspiciously but always tasted great in the end. How many times we steamed clams and mussels, eat odeng that ji had prepared so we could eat the minute I got home from work.
The small room that went from storage, to our closet, to my wood working and upholstery shop, to our office/study, where the desk occupied exactly half of its 50sq ft. Its view of nothing more than a brick wall that I could lean out of the window and touch…alllmost. That desk covered in our recycled jars, holding paintbrushes, pens, markers, that huge cardboard cylinder that Ji painstakingly stippled with about 25 flowers and painted.
The furniture that was conveniently on the curb just when we needed it and that couch that was being trashed, that we ripped apart in the street so I could reupholster it.
This place will be missed.