Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Thrill is Gone, Pt. 2

So we made it through the first night in the garbage pail. We tried to build a makeshift crib with suitcases around a folded blanket, but the Murph would have none of it. So we did our best to cosleep on the blanket pile. It is a foggy haze, but I know she was up playing for part of the night, and we woke up to things scattered around the room and a diaper in JD's hat.

I had emailed my director and told her the apartment was unacceptable, unlivable, unbelievable. She agreed to immediately take me around to look at new apartments, 9 am Monday (our first day in the country). I was hesitant to leave my family so soon, but we desperately wanted out of there. So I went.

She took me to 3 apartments.

The first was beautiful, brand new, shiny, clean. But it was far away from the school and I would have to help supplement the rent. Sorry, can't afford that on a hagwon teacher's salary. Next.

Apartment 2 was spacious, with a proper kitchen area and a nice big Korean balcony. And every single wall had black mold at least up to my shoulders. Nope.

The 3rd apartment was similar to the one we had slept in, but was clean. It was a basement apartment (ahh, there it is, the basement). We agreed that it may end up being quieter, being underground. We thought it might stay cooler in the summer. We talked about those awesome hipsters who build tiny homes on purpose. We justified the hell out of it, just to get out of the hell we were in. It was not better.

We did our best to stay positive and try to make it work. We bought fans and a dehumidifier and a portable air conditioner and an air purifier. We bought tension-rod wardrobes to make up for the complete lack of storage. We bought a small table tall enough to put suitcases under, but narrow enough to fit in our bedroom/living room.

Some incredibly generous friends gave us $1000 to make our transition to the other side of the planet more comfortable, and we used every dime to try to make a 348 square foot, moldy basement apartment work for the 3 of us.

We didn't realize how much it DIDN'T work until a couple of my Korean friends/coworkers came by to check on us. Their faces said it all. Thanks to their interventions, my director agreed to find a new place for us. In fact, she took us around that next weekend to look at apartments.

We went all over the area, seeing some places twice, even looking at places out of our price range and out of town, desperately trying to find something that was available and would work.

Finally, we found a gem just up the street. It had a big open living space we could use as a studio apartment, plus an additional small room we could use as Murphy's room. It was in a high rise. It was clean, in a nice area, had lots of built-in storage. It was available. We were excited.

Then we were told we couldn't move until they found a new tenant for our current apartment. And that it may take a while because it was A SHITTY APARTMENT that nobody wanted.

We were crushed. Again.

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