Saturday, February 4, 2012

Unwelcoming Apartments (1 August)

Sad that our vacation has come to an end, we leave Jeung-do early this morning so that M can be back in Gunsan by midday.  An unwelcome surprise awaits me when I return to my apartment and discover that the mould has not only re-covered everything that I spent the last week cleaning but that it is even growing on my laptop.  This is the final straw and I can feel the stress that I’ve just spent four days evicting come rushing back in a rude slap.  I can’t seem to move soon enough and I need my mom!  I phone my mom on her work number but struggle to hear her over the sudden hammering noise coming from the apartment opposite mine in the next building.  It appears that they are having air conditioning installed. 

Convinced that it won’t be noisy for much longer, I feel my blood pressure continue to rise as the noise continues for the next two hours.  Heaven alone knows what is going on next door but my nerves just can’t take this anymore.  I phone Catfish in tears, stressed out and fed-up with my living conditions.  When she offers me sleeping space at her apartment for the night, I hastily accept it and re-pack my bag as quickly as possible. 

Troubles Pour Over

By the time I arrive at Catfish’s apartment, I just burst into tears.  I’m so tired of fighting with my apartment and struggling to get things done.  I’m tired of not being able to communicate with my landlord myself and feeling like I’m burdening my overworked co-teachers further.  On the other hand, I’ve also been a fairly easy waegook as far as asking my co-teachers for help.  That which I can accomplish solo, I do in order to maintain some semblance of independence and that which requires Korean assistance, I usually ask M for help.  Therefore, I resolve to tackle this matter with my co-teachers in the morning but first, we head to Lotte Mart for wine.

An hour later, we’re back in Catfish’s apartment and attempting to make sangria while devouring a bowl of bibimbap.  Catfish keeps insisting that I drink until, eventually, I’m laughing albeit it somewhat hysterically as we talk about various stressors and coping with things in general in Korea.  I can’t believe how stressful and ridiculous the last few weeks have been and I’m really hoping that things get easier from here.

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