Hey y’all. So as I mentioned in my previous post, when I first got to Korea I lived in a place called Dosim (pronounced ‘Doh-shim’). Now, Dosim is a nice area and actually has some quite beautiful views. Take a look here (please note that these pictures aren’t necessarily the most beautiful ones possible!):
Dosim is about 40 minutes by bus to Guri, or about 15 minutes by train (except the trains can be few and far between). The stop before it, Deokso (pronounced ‘Dok-so’ – I have an issue with the Romanization of the Korean language which I will get to another time) is a fair bit busier and has more shops and restaurants. In comparison, Dosim is quite small, with a few cafes, restaurants and supermarkets and not tooo much else! However, it is an authentic taste of Korean life and a good place to immerse yourself into the language (because no one speaks English at all).
My issue with Dosim wasn’t so much with the location as with my actual apartment. Both my friend Sehar and I happened to get ground floor flats, which I don’t really mind – IN THEORY. However, these ones had absolutely ZERO natural light and were basically mini dungeons with (slightly) nicer interiors. I was prepared for a shoebox flat (which I still basically have, btw), but the lack of light made this very depressing. In winter I guess it is dark anyway, but is surprising what a difference even just a bit of light makes. And this place had none.
Let me give you a glimpse of my glamorous life sans light – and curtains:
My house was so close to the building next door that without this makeshift barrier I could see right into their kitchen. I actually remember being serenaded one day by some actually quite nice operatic singing. Still not sure if it was from the TV or from my neighbour, because it sounded like a pretty profesh live performance. I appreciated the art, however it did mainly serve to remind me that there was no escaping anything from that location. I was surrounded!
I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that, yes, that is a cereal box up there with the shopping bags. An unopened one at that! I guess that’s cereal for you – functional and delicious.
So this was my first impression of Korea, hoorah! We had to keep bringing up the apartment business for about two weeks; it was our mutual struggle and actually bonded Sehar and I despite the pain. Yes, I will admit that I am being a bit dramatic (who, me?!) but when you come to a freezing cold country by yourself and then have to deal with trying to move flats (because it wasn’t definitely going to happen at first), it’s not the best way to kick off your “new life”!
However, let it be known that I survived, and (arguably) flourished.
So what does my life look like now, you ask?
Seeing as my apartment is currently quite the mess, let me distract you with a view from my window:
- Yes, that is natural light!!! Ay carumba!
When I walked into this place about 2 and a half weeks into my time in Korea, it was like walking through the gates of heaven. Honestly, it felt that good. The fact that I didn’t feel trapped in an underground cave definitely helped. My current apartment isn’t much bigger, but it feels so much sunnier as it is on the fourth floor (which is technically the third floor, but this story is also for another time).
Needless to say, I love my little apartment! And my new life in Guri 🙂
More to come… stay tuned!