No, not the Konglishy name of a new furniture store. Inspired by a thread on Dave's, I thought I'd share this little story.
Apparently the housing market in my old county was tight, because they didn't procure an apartment for me until the day before I moved in. The county, of course, waited until the last minute and couldn't find one through the usual channels, so somebody at the Office of Education called in a favor to a friend, who let me stay above his bookstore rent-free. It had three rooms---three times the number as my officetel in Bundang---although the bathroom was atrocious, had no windows and no fan, and the mold was so bad that you could make an indentation in the tiles by pushing in on them. A fair number along one of the walls had fallen off. Anyway, I guess that was a good enough arrangement for a while, but a few days after Christmas---about a year ago today, actually---my coteacher got a call at 9:30 am that said I had to be packed and ready to move at 2:00 pm. The county had to show documentation to the province of how much they were paying for my accomodations. Since my county wasn't paying anything---and pocketing that money, I assume---the arrangement couldn't last, and thus I had to move into a different place in a hurry. A common occurrence, apparently.
That was one of the many frustrations of small-town life. They knew they were importing a foreigner, yet they didn't make the appropriate arrangements, and knowing the rules they didn't seek to correct the situation for the four months prior to my last-minute move. When I got to my new place a few blocks away after a few hours of moving there was no hot water, gas, or heat, so I spent the night in the male teachers' rest house connected to the school. In days gone by a male teacher would spend the night to guard the school, but nowadays it is used for drinking and resting. It was comfortable enough, but still . . . That, plus the fact that they delayed the opening of my contracted school---an English Town---by 16 months and counting, made me think that the disorganization and halfassedness of a rural area outweighed the positive aspects of a quiet, secluded year as one of the few foreigners to pass through that part of the country.
A previous tenant had drawn faces on the exposed plaster in the bathroom. An interesting decoration at first, until the surrounding tiles later fell off.
Well after moving in I found that the light in the bedroom of my old place would turn red if I pulled the string. I did not give any massages, though, and felt quite lonely.