Saturday, February 4, 2012

When Mould Takes Over (15 July)

Incredibly, I’ve finished all of my work and met my deadline.  My reward for working so hard this semester is that I get to hang out with my awesome co-teacher who has invited me to her apartment for dinner.  I’ve been squealing in excitement for days at the prospect of hanging out with her and can’t wait to spend some quality time with her.  I’m even more touched when she tells me that I’m the first foreign teacher she’s ever invited to her apartment.

Quality Time

First, she takes me to O’s Gallery near her apartment.  It’s a small gallery with a coffee shop attached to it and overlooking a misty lake in the mountains.  We chat over coffee for over an hour before going to her apartment where she tells me to make myself at home.  I finally get to see her wedding and honeymoon photos and she insists that I try out the piano that her husband has just bought for her.  She also tells me to have a look around her apartment, which I’m surprised to discover is decorated in a very western style:  Her apartment doesn’t look much different to mine in terms of furnishings and style.  The view from her apartment, however, is incredible and I can only imagine how beautiful it must be in the winter when the mountains and fields are all covered in snow.  She promises to invite me over again in the winter so that I can see the amazing view in all it’s splendour, and then drops me off at the bus terminal.

One Too Many Challenges!

Back in Gunsan, Catfish and I chat on Skype until midnight before we finally say goodnight and I start to pack for this weekend’s trip.  It’s the annual Boryeong Mudfest – one of the most anticipated and biggest festivals in Korea.  To my horror, I can smell mould in my wardrobe as I reach to the back of it for a pair of shorts.  For days, my bath towel has a distinct mouldy smell to it but I haven’t been able to find any mould on it.  Tonight, I manage to find the mould. 

The blackness on my bedroom ceiling is slowly increasing, and as I move clothing aside in my wardrobe, I discover mould on all of my suits, my most expensive investment items of clothing and also my most sentimental items of clothing.  I remove each item of clothing and inspect them carefully, growing increasingly distressed as I discover mould has grown on the inside of my wardrobe and half my clothing.  I then start to separate my mouldy clothes from the non-mouldy clothing and place mouldy clothing on my couch, which I discover also has mouldy patches in places.  Closer inspection reveals a very fine layer of mould on the wallpaper and glass door in my bedroom, my bedside table, my television and even my pillow.

My apartment has no real outside windows and no air conditioning.  As a result, there is almost no real ventilation in my apartment which, apart from making it unbearably hot in the summer, also makes it the perfect humid and dark environment that mould absolutely adores!  I clean for nearly four hours and eventually phone home both slightly hysterical and exhausted.  It’s nearly 4:00am and the more I clean, the more mould I find.  I just want to go home at this point as this is one too many challenges for me to face.

No comments:

Post a Comment