My first few months in Korea I discovered that mosquitoes don’t die. Sure, you can smash ‘em, but it can be below freezing outside and the next thing you know a skeeter will float past your face while your sitting in your bedroom trying to read the latest Deadpool comic. Oh and don’t forget the time I had something like 42 bites covering my left shoulder, arm, and general back area after sleeping with the window open mid September. Because apparently screens on windows is too hard a concept to figure out.
What follows is short list of all the bullshit at just our apartment:
- Dirty ass wallpaper (that was replaced shortly after moving in, but not after the installers got their gluey fingerprints on our tables, chairs, and fridge, and broke our sugar container).
- A moldy ceiling in our bathroom. (which was also replaced a year later, but also not after we had to clean up after the installer).
- Mildew so thick in our bathtub that it took us a year and a multitude of techniques to get it off. What finally worked? Soaking the tub in vinegar & water and scrubbing with a “magic sponge” from Japan.
- Our bathroom door had begun rotting at the bottom and was falling apart.
- A faulty circuit breaker that made us think we were experiencing blackouts (also replaced, but not after haggling with my school and landlord, and having to prove via demonstration I’m not a liar and that there was, in fact, a problem).
- Our pipes freezing and not being able to shower for about a week (which you can read about here). (Oh and one more thing, when the temp drops below freezing, we have to run our faucet water all night just to make sure they don’t freeze again. Because insulation isn’t a thing here.)
- We can’t control our heat and the first couple months of winter during our first year here it wasn’t turned on and we had no heat in our apartment.
- No hot water during July for no discernible reason whatsoever. Serious, the only reason I’ve been given is that “some places do that in Korea.” Guess what, that’s not a reason.
And now, in the last 5 months of us leaving we have one more pain in the ass to deal with and, to be honest, I’ll not be surprised at all if there’s one more thing after this to take care of before leaving on a jet plane. Anyway, a few days ago, we noticed our ceiling dripping water, but thought it was perhaps because our bathroom doesn’t have ventilation (oh yeah, another problem) and showering painted the walls, ceiling, and mirror in condensation. Perhaps, we conjectured, the drips were coming from leftover moisture.
Water pipes are directly above our ceiling. We assume them to be our neighbors, but in Korea, you can’t expect things to happen according to the rules of reason. We’ve got a hatch that we can open and poke our heads up there, but the pipes block the access and we can’t see anything. Instead, we took some pictures. Here’s one where you can just barely make out the water and soaked wooden support beam.
I think Korea is sentient and it’s trying to make me want to leave. It’s like it knows our relationship is just about over and it’s trying to make it so I don’t miss it after we’ve broken up. And I’d just everyone to know that I didn’t take pictures for my blog. Oh no. You see, my coworkers never seem to grasp the gravity of a problem unless they see it with their eyes. Remember all those problems listed above? I didn’t just request they were fixed and boom! that was it. I had to “invite” my coteachers over, prepare for them tea and snacks, give them a “tour.” (Our apartment is three rooms and a bathroom. I’m sitting in the kitchen and can literally see the the whole thing. Shit, you can see the whole thing from the door.) So after the tea and snacks, I showed my coworkers the shoddiness of our living conditions and after that they agreed to fix it. So these pics serve as my evidence. And one more piece of evidence? A video of the drips with very dramatic background music.
Yeah, I’m ready to go home.