Get a Move On: A Tour of My New Apartment in Korea

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As you may have gathered from my previous post, my dreams of living in a space bigger than a shoebox are finally coming true! By which I mean, of course, I moved!

Unfortunately I never really got any good pictures of my old place, but it was quite small. Bigger than a dorm room, but not by much. My "kitchen" was a microwave with a hotplate perched on top, and if I had dishes to dry I didn't have even an inch of counter space. No table, no chair, no couch, just a bed and a TV and a dresser. I'm not complaining, though; for the first place I've ever lived in without a roommate, it was quite nice. Certainly cozy in the winter!

However, when it came time to renew the lease, I felt the need for something...more. Like a stove. And the ability to invite more than one person over without running out of space. My new place feels ridiculously huge in comparison. I'm pretty sure my new bedroom is bigger than my old apartment in it's entirety, and the concept of having multiple rooms is really confusing me at this point. I keep losing track of my stuff because I leave it in a different room.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's do a tour!

I'm teaching him English.

My place is above a 삼겹살 (Korean BBQ) restaurant, so I have to enter through a sort of back courtyard that is "guarded" by the cutest little black lab puppy. He's a bit shy, but I'm sure we'll become friends before too long. The courtyard is actually part of the prep area of the kitchen, meaning that in the evening I sometimes have to pick my way around cabbage scraps from kimchi making or confuse restaurant patrons who were just looking for the bathroom. "Why is there a white girl in gym clothes in the back room of my restaurant?" I imagine them thinking.

My landlords are forever interested in my life as well. In a way it feels like living with family. If I come home late, they want to know where I was, and make sure I ate dinner. If I go out, they want to know why I'm getting coffee but not dinner. I once came home with a big shopping bag and the grandpa was super curious about what I'd bought. "Did you buy something pretty?"

I know this might sound a bit annoying, but it's actually oddly comforting. It's nice to know there's someone looking out for me. Also, I turn it into a game of stealth. Can I get past the dog without making him bark, then across the courtyard and into the safety of my apartment before anyone notices me? It's fun~

Even my door is exciting.

Once I make it up the stairs I get to enjoy all the benefit of a potted garden with none of the responsibility of watering and transplanting. I also really enjoy this fancy door. It's little details like this that make even an apartment feel fancy.

Please, come in.

Entrance...pretty normal. The shoe cabinet is what matters, though. I can fit all of my shoes in there, with a whole shelf empty to fill with NEW shoes. Total enabler. There's also a pretty sweet section for stuff like umbrellas and gloves and hats. I might install a coat hanger system of some sort, but I'm not entirely sure about the logistics of that just yet. I figure hot water and a bed should come before things like coat hangers.

Please ignore the mess.

A view from the entrance, with suitcases for scale. Look at all the natural light! The bedroom has southern exposure and a big window so it's really cheery even on cloudy days.

Again, sorry about the mess. They redid the entire kitchen right before I moved in, so it's really nice. I have a gas range with two burners, a microwave from my previous place, a nice big sink, and more cabinets than I know what to do with. I don't currently have a fridge but...I'm working on that.

The window in the kitchen/living room area sadly looks out on nothing more than an alley, and it's so close to my neighbors that I can listen to their television shows in the evening.

If not for the piles of clothes it would almost be artistic.

I know it may be a bit early in our relationship, but I feel that it's time to invite you into my bedroom. I'd also like to introduce you to my #1 fan.

Okay, I'm sorry, those were two horrible jokes in a row. I promise I'll try to be serious from now on. This bedroom was what originally made me fall in love with this apartment. It's a nice size, bright white walls, and sunlight streaming in through the big window. It does face out onto the street so I'll need some curtains to shut out the light pollution of the local shops, but it's totally worth it for the feeling of waking up to bright sunshine. I can't decide if I want to get a real bed or a futon/mat type thing. This vast expanse of empty apartment feels so full of potential. I could put anything in here!

Always necessary.

I also have a bigger bathroom with a nicer mirror and better lighting. The red color scheme is nothing I would have chosen on my own, but it's growing on me, even if it clashes with the wall colors.

So far, I'm really happy with this space. I'm missing a lot of furniture still, so it feels a bit like camping, but I know I'll work that out over the next couple weeks. Sorry if this wasn't the most entertaining of posts, but I figure that maybe one or two people will be curious about my new digs.

Any tips on how I should arrange the living room and kitchen? I have no idea where to put the fridge.

Teacher Pretty
Middle school ESL teacher, lover of pink, eater of kimchi, addicted to Etude House, expert procrastinator, meeter of 2-dimensionial popstars: Ana. That's me.

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