Nonsense, horsefeathers, and idle musings from a decade in South Korea (2002-2012).

06 June, 2005

Crappers of Tomorrow

By Aaron
06 June, 2005

Living in Seoul, the only time I see animals are when they're on my dinner plate or when it's one of those poor excuses of a dog that Koreans seem to like so much. And anyone who knows me will attest to my abiding love of - and interest in - animals. That's why I'm mildly excited about the fact a pigeon has laid a couple eggs on one of the balconies of this apartment building. What I ought to be saying is, "great, more avian rats to crap on me and spread disease." But I'm not saying that because I haven't watched a bird hatch her young since I left the States over three years ago. I'll take what I can get. The other reason I'm fascinated by this bird is that I never really believed baby pigeons existed. I figured they were just one of those urban legends - you know, like the one about Jamie Lee Curtis. Anyway, the bird's choice of a nesting place, is just outside the elevator landing on my floor, so I'm hoping no children or drunken adjoshis get it in their mind to make omelettes.

On other battle fronts...I've got the housing situation sorted. I signed on a place over by Seoul National University, which won't mean much to those of you outside of Korea, but suffice it to say I'll be living in a convenient area.

Of the remaining obstacles, the most daunting is the job hunt. I'm looking for a part-time position in the middle of the day. Good luck. It's out there, though. I just have to find it.

04 June, 2005

The Great Seoul Land Rush

By Aaron
04 June, 2005

Oh, Christ. House hunting again.

This is, by all indications, a yearly ritual in my life, one that only serves to remind me that I don't have enough money. What exactly is "enough?" Well, I don't really know the answer to that except to say that I haven't got it - especially when I'm looking for new digs in the dead center of Seoul.

We spent Saturday tramping in and out of one hovel after another. One looked promising until I saw the kitchen: It was built in something of a crawl space turned vertical, which is to say that there was no more than about one foot between the cabinets and the wall. I'm not exaggerating when I say a person couldn't turn around in there without first stepping out and reentering.

Scratch that one.

Other apartments featured such amenities as the sink drain in the middle of the kitchen floor, allowing you trip over the hose every time you'd try to turn on the stove. One palace offered next door access to a smorgasbord of vice (to which I'm not, on principle, opposed, but I like to sleep at night and don't need to live next to it).

At one point, we walked past an elementary school where the kids were having a gathering of sorts, complete with tents set up in neat rows around the dirt yard.

"What are they doing?" I asked.

"That's a campout," replied my friend.

"No, that's homelessness," I countered. "Sleeping in a tent in the wilderness is a campout. Sleeping in a tent in the middle of a city - especially a tent city like that - is poverty."

"Well, anyway," she said. "I was jealous of them when I was young. It always looked fun."

"Whatever that is, it sure as hell isn't recreation." I was becoming snide after a day of being told I'm too poor and too picky, and when I get into such a mood my only goal becomes to piss in everyone else's party punch..

By the end of the day, however, I was convinced that I might soon be living in a tent on a schoolyard myself.

On the way home, we ran into a guy I know who sells cheap crap on the subways here. I asked him how business was going and he just said, "well, tomorrow's a new day," which could be good or bad, I guess.