Almost two weeks ago now, we set off from Cyprus to Seoul, South Korea. It took us almost a day to arrive. As there are no direct flights from Cyprus to South Korea (or anywhere other than Moscow, Britain or Greece) we had to stop off in Dubai. The layover was actually very brief, although it felt like an eternity! We reached Dubai at around 1am, and it looked a little like a war zone with people sleeping anywhere and everywhere they could find, it was wise to closely watch where you were walking. After we had made it from one end of the airport to the other, it was time to board; and so we did, amongst 600 other people! This was the busiest plane I’d ever seen! Unfortunately we were smushed into the middle surrounded by middle-aged Korean men who smelt of kimchi and only wanted to sleep, and drink complimentary wine. This made the next 10 hours a little more interesting!
Upon arrival, it was time to eat junk food and sleep off the horrendous jet lag. The next day we were up early to view potential apartments! I think we viewed 5 apartments that day, after looking and assessing them all we had set our hearts on one which just seemed to be perfect, in hind sight, maybe too perfect? The next day we went back to the estate agents to tell them, “Yes, we will take the perfect one please!” We went back to view the apartment one last time, and for some reason the estate agent couldn’t get in. This was because a couple of hours after we had viewed it the previous day, somebody had snapped it up and signed all of the paperwork already. So they had changed the lock code on the door. This was devastating news as all of the other apartments seemed not as good any more. There was one more apartment in the same building to look at, it was a little smaller, and a little lower down, which meant it was darker as the surrounding buildings create a shadow over it. One spontaneous decision later we were back at the estate agents going over the contract. We put down a deposit of KRW 1,000,000 as the banks were closed and no signing of the contract could happen that day. After this we got a call saying that the owner would like to meet us before we signed the contract, one can only assume because we are foreign. Her earliest available date was Wednesday, it was currently Saturday.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday went by, we had been selecting furniture (its very uncommon to find a furnished apartment for rent in Korea).
I’d just like to point out here how cold it is in Seoul compared to Cyprus! I have the Realfeel temperature app on my phone it was showing crazy numbers like -18. I wore every single item of clothing I own! This is compared to the nice all-round 25 degrees we were used to.
Wednesday came by and the owner of the apartment didn’t show, the estate agent had never seen this before and didn’t quite know what to do! We spent the rest of that day viewing every single apartment available in the area we were looking at. The first one, we liked, but some people currently lived there and they were unable to move out until April. The second one, was perfect, much like the first one we saw! Only the owner had some debt issues, so if we had given them our deposit they most likely would have run off with it and then our apartment would belong to the bank, and we would be homeless once again. We viewed many more until we decided on the third one we had seen that day. All systems were go, and a meeting was arranged with the owners the next day.
Success! We signed a contract, we now had somewhere to live! However our furniture couldn’t be delivered until the following Monday.
Monday rolled around, we made our way to the apartment with all of our suitcases and many bags of things we accumulated within the two weeks of living in a hotel. Slowly but surely, we watched the empty apartment turn into a place that we would quite like to live! First the sofa came, then the Ikea delivery, then a giant fridge (I think I fit in it), then obviously the most important, the kettle and toaster. You can take me out of Britain but you will never take Britain out of me! Finally the bed and dining table arrived!
Today is Tuesday, we are waiting in for more things to be delivered, like the washing machine (its been a long time since any clothes washing was done) and a TV, we also had the internet and telephone service set up. Its all starting to come together. Once everything is in its correct place I can share photos with you all!
Some things take some getting used to.. You turn the tap on with your foot? I could only think that’s to save your hands from getting wet, but if you’re about to do the washing up it seems kind of defective. We don’t have keys, we can either type in a code or use a card and the door unlocks! When you enter the front door to the building the lift will automatically go to the first floor to meet you! You can also call the lift to the floor you live on using a screen inside your apartment, this saves time if you’re in a bit of a rush! I’m sure there are still things we haven’t even discovered yet!
Speak to you all soon! 🙂