Live from a wintery bunk-bed

We moved to central-south seoul yesterday. It was a long day but not impossible. For an old guy, the moving man was quite friendly, and the land lord seemed friendly too, even if the real-estate agent wasn’t.
There’s a bunch of things we need to get sorted out, like the heating. Like most places in Korea, it’s floor heating but it’s an unusual, antiquated system where the heating is on only between 10pm and 8am. For the first few hours last night it wasn’t on at all but them by about 4am it’d started to warm. Hopefully it’ll kick on right from 10 tonight. The heat kind of sustains itself through the day but I’d say that you need it on for the whole night and not just a few hours unless you want to be sitting around at dinner time with cold toes.
Also the door security system is a bit screwed. The alarm goes off every time we open the door. And the hot-water system was leaking drops of water onto the floor of the upper mezz (bunk) last night but then it mysteriously stopped. There’s no curtains so we have to get on to that soon. I suspect a good chunk of the warmth is seeping out the windows. Some of the contact on the cupboard doors is pealing and needs to be super-glued back down. In the shower this morning I found that the water pressure is really low but I imagine that’s something I’m going to have to adapt to since I don’t imagine it’s easily fixed. The traffic noise is something else I’ll have to get used to. It’s not really really bad. In the day it’s not a problem. Just at night it’s a bit noticeable. It’s just the sshh of tires on the road that can be heard rather than engines.

When standing on the lower floor there’s a nice feeling of head-space. The ceiling is high. The area seems good. There’s no piles of trash all over the place and there’s a load of restaurants close by. The prices are a little more expensive than cheongju but I also notice that a whitey like me can fade into the background, or at least not be gawked at. It’s funny, but I happened to be perusing entries of this weblougue from six years ago, and back then that didn’t bother me.
So anyway, on a day when I don’t quite have the motivation to start the process of unpacking, it’s good to be reminded of a couple of the good things about the last place, like the shower and the amount of closet-space, but let’s not forget:

<a href=”” title=”HIP_348038648.747583 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”HIP_348038648.747583″></a>

_Naedok 2-dong’s incomprehensible trash mountains. Third-world living with first-world delusions._

26 seconds of ‘smoky buns’

After a lancastershiric colleague mentioned a new burger restaurant here in the chong-jew opening up, I checked it out. It’s called smoky buns and despite the bad spellin they do make a nice burger. And the chips are good too. Best thing I can say is that it’s better than crazy burger.

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*(12/Mar/10 Update:)* I no longer recommend smoky buns. I was there last weekend, and their staff were rude and racist. So they can go fuck themselves and I hope they go out of business. *(End Update)*

This gives you the idea of what the general noise level in a korean modern restaurant is. That is, it’s loud. Reminds me a bit of one of the first times I visited sydney by myself, and I was in Newtown standing at this hole-in-the-wall kebab place in Newtown and the guy says, ‘yeah mate whataya want?’ with this menacing tone that I was unaccustomed to receiving from the service classes. Also, the music was loud. Shop music is often loud here.

I’ve been in this town for 8 months and I finally got over to the industrial side of town today. Pretty neat. I like factories and quiet streets, weird chemical smells, rust and functional architecture.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4697 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”281″ alt=”IMG_4697″ /></a>