It’s the “moving season” now in Seoul. Students graduate, workers start new jobs, children begin a new school year and people need to move. There are 22 buildings and over 1,100 flats in our apartment complex so I suppose it’s not surprising that almost every day somewhere in this area I can see a long ladder making its way up the side of a building as another family’s personal belongings get hauled up and over their new balcony. Watching the removal vans reminds me of what it was like when we moved here just a few months ago.
We had to leave our old place because the landlady wanted to sell the flat. And we were pretty negative about finding somewhere decent since we weren’t moving during the “moving season” when there’s more choice. Our old flat was in a good location and we were comfortable there but we had no choice, we had to spend the next few weeks traipsing around looking into other people’s homes as they sat eating dinner or watching TV or whatever, while prospective buyers came traipsing around ours.
I felt like I had to keep the flat show-home tidy too and every time the estate agent called to say he was on his way with more people to look around I would rush to the sink to wash up any offensive coffee cups, wipe surfaces, mop floors, or check the laundry room for items that no visitor should ever have to see. I didn’t even think I was house proud. Thankfully that’s all over now and we struck lucky with our new place. After several weeks of searching we found it. It’s newer and bigger but the rent is the same. Yes, that’s because the area is cheaper and it’s not as near the river. Can’t have everything.
The moving team of four, three men and one woman, packed everything up for us in our old flat. Small stuff was put into orange crates and bigger stuff like the sofa was wrapped up and lifted over the balcony and lowered down the ladder. Even the huge fridge, wardrobe, everything went over the balcony. It was odd seeing other people unpack all our stuff. Every time I tried to step in and do something I was told to sit back, relax, this was their job and they would do it. The lady was in charge of unpacking the kitchen stuff. Our fridge was cleaned, the kitchen cupboards disinfected, crockery neatly arranged better than I could have done it. Meanwhile our books were put back in the shelves in the same order they had been before and our clothes hung up in the new wardrobes. And on the way out the team steamed the floor and put a nail in the wall for a picture.
There was one piece of bad news though. The satellite TV guy came to tell us we’re not allowed to have a satellite dish on the balcony here because they look ugly(?). And even if we could, there are too many buildings in the way anyway to get a signal. This means we have to use the apartment satellite dish – which means no recording function and for some reason NO BBC ENTERTAINMENT. All the more time to watch Korean dramas, I suppose. Just trying to look on the bright side.