My Cute Little Apartment

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Left: hardgarbage; Right: food waste

I just gotta say Korea is wicked cool for their recycling/trash waste program. The orange bags that I was given are for soft food waste, the white bags are for hard food/regular trash (bones, packaging, egg shells, etc.) and recyclables can go into a plain plastic bag. They have set times that you are allowed to put your trash on the side of the road and they don’t pick it up on the weekends. So I can leave my trash outside after 8pm but not after 4am. I was told that some apartments have a sorter which makes it easier but for now, this is how my little apartment building works. My head teacher said that they use the orange bags for animal food. Love it.

It also super useful that they use keypads instead of keys. I just type in my digits and turn the knob.

The water is nice n hot 😁

Not only do they have keypads, they also have HEATED FLOORS. I have to say it took me a few weeks to understand how mine works but I got it figured out. The only downside is is that you can either have heated floors or hot water. Buttt, even when I don’t click that little button to the left of the On/Off switch, my water still gets pretty hot. It takes about 2 hours and 30-40 minutes for the heated floors to go back on after heating the water. Yes, I timed it 😂

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My apartment also came with a washer, a rack that comes down from the ceiling for drying clothes, a stove top, and a fridge. You can adjust the drying rack which is nice because I’m short. My apartment also came with a TV so that was cool. I’m not really sure how other apartments are but from what I’ve seen it is pretty much the same setup as mine.

And since this room was previously used by other teachers, it also has a microwave and a mini toaster oven. I’m excited to make cookies in it. I also have a bunch of dishes- plates, silverware, bowls, all that great stuff. I was also lucky enough to have a little couch, a bed, a kettle, a little table, and some cookware. My favorite thing that came with this apartment: a Brita filter. I know that’s a little odd but with the amount of water that I drink, it just makes me happy. I brought a mini water filter from home just to be safe. I don’t even want to know how much money I spent when I was in Thailand. I bought water daily. So having a Brita saves both the environment and my wallet. Yay.

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Soo you walk in and there’s my couch to the left and the TV. Straight ahead there’s the fridge with all of my pictures on it 😊 Then there’s the mini kitchen and bathroom and to the left is my bedroom. To the left of my TV is the washer and drying rack.

It’s a few steps up from my Thailand apartment. Actually, it’s quite an improvement. I only had a fridge in Thailand so having a stove top and other appliances is wonderful.

There’s a lot of storage in my apartment. So much that I don’t even know how to fill it all up.

I borrowed this tree for Christmas. I don’t want to keep mentioning my TikTok but I put a before and after picture of the tree. I haven’t decorated a tree in years. It was nice decorating because I was by myself for Christmas so it was a fun little activity. So I spent Christmas Eve decorating and talking to friends. I spent Christmas Day cooking pasta and talking with friends and family.

Two Weeks in Korea and then I’m Free-a

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Honestly, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be. But ask my friends and family how I’ve been and they may say the opposite.

Picture of my cutie dog because I miss his face

I got a box from the government within the first few days of being here. It was filled with tasty food. How sweet of them?! I also received a thermometer and a white bucket with an orange biohazard bag to throw my trash in (Don’t worry, I am allowed to set my recyclables aside). Yay. My TikTok has videos of the goodies that were in the box that I received. I’ve eaten about 80% of what they sent (some of it is meat). Even before I got the box, the head teacher at my school went food shopping and had my fridge stocked before I arrived. She let me borrow some of her cookware for the two weeks. I felt at home right when I walked through the door.

South Korea is really on top of it when it comes to Covid. Four days after I got to my apartment, I was taken to get another Covid test. I was picked up and dropped off. It was exhilarating to see the outdoors. The quarantine app is pretty cool, when it works. My health officer has called and texted me when she couldn’t see my location. If you have an iPhone, I recommend leaving the app open at all times and having the Background App Refresh on. Expect a phone call or Kakao message if your location isn’t visible. I have to log in at 9am and 3pm every day. A few times my health officer has messaged me asking what my temperature was, even after I had logged my info in. I had some complications with the app at first because I was trying to write my address in Korean. It took a whole 12 hours to fix it so that was my thrilling activity for the day.

Here are some of the other activities that have been keeping me busy:

“Write Korean” App
  • Netflix & other apps (I’ve probably mentioned it 10x recently)
  • Reading
  • Meditating (I listen to a few different podcasts, but LOVE Chel Hamilton). Podcasts in general are pretty awesome.
  • Taking courses on Coursera. edX is great too.
  • Practicing Korean (I listen to YouTube videos by Korean Unnie, Mina Oh, & Korean Class101). I also downloaded this cool app called “Write Korean.” It’s my favorite so far because it doesn’t throw the whole alphabet at you all at once. I’ve also used other apps such as Duolingo and Memrise but I found that they had different pronunciation for each of the vowels which was super confusing. I do love Memrise for other languages though.
  • FaceTime and WhatsApp. Zoom and Skype. You know, those apps. It’s hard with the time difference but I’ve made it work so far!
  • Cooking has also been a huge part of my day. I LOVE to cook. Having a stove top in my apartment really makes my life easier and more enjoyable.
  • Organizing my apartment was also on the list but I am not in my official apartment yet. Living out of a suitcase was easier said than done.
  • Self care is always important! My favorite part is putting on a face mask and watching TV. I really needed a face mask after wearing my mask for 20+ hours.
  • Exercising is a great way to pass time. I have been slacking during quarantine but now I’m back at it with my little weights and resistance bands.
  • TikTok has been entertaining (when my internet works). I started making them the day I got here and I can’t stop.

I cut my hair because my friend told me about the #BradMandoChallenge 😂 It looks nice and healthy now.

A great idea I had when I was back home was to buy a projector in case I didn’t have a TV, like in Thailand. I bought an HDMI cord and a Lightning to Digital AV Adapter off of eBay because they were cheap. BUT, make sure the AV Adapter is the Apple brand because it might not work if it’s not. Another amazing idea of mine was to read some posts on Facebook to see which VPN would work best. I decided to buy Nord VPN for a month so I could have different options aside from Netflix. I’ve been able to used Hulu, HBO Max and Disney Plus. Love that for me.

As time goes by, I regret unpacking my suitcases. I haven’t unpacked fully but let’s just say it’s going to take a few trips to get all of my belongings to my new apartment. It’s only a floor upstairs so it’s not a huge deal.

I cannot wait until I move into my apartment and unpack! I’m prettttty sure I brought more than enough of my belongings with me considering my two ginormous suitcases and also breaking one at home and another one other here. Guess we’ll find out.