Come August, I will be living somewhere else, not just outside of Seoul but outside of Korea, for the first time since I graduated from college in 1990-something. That means I need to get this old apartment ready for someone else to live in. Someone who—as a renter and not an owner—might be less willing to put up with some of the things I am willing to tolerate.
My apartment is so old (it was built in 1980) that it was one of the first 아파트 to be called '아파트.' When I bought the place in August 2002 and threw the tenants out on their asses in December 2002 to make room for me and my 먼 할머니, I had the place gutted and fixed up, replacing the dirty linoleum floor with the wood veneer pre-formed particle board planks that feel and look much better. The dirty, five-year-old wallpaper was replaced by brighter and textured stuff that had a washable silk base. The tiny tub was removed in favor of a walk-in glass shower, I put in countertops and an island with a height appropriate for not inducing chronic debilitating back pain later in life. The tiny veranda was knocked down in favor of a small breakfast nook and a slightly larger bedroom. The flickering fluorescents (there's a good name for a family-friendly quasi-punk band) were tossed and halogens took their place. I installed an American-style washer and dryer, which blows lint out onto the walkway that my neighbors use to get to their abode.
The standard toilet in the small bathroom was removed in favor of a environmentally friendly low-flow toilet. The "interior decorator" (the abrasive husband of a very nice co-worker, who can multi-task talking on a cell phone, writing down important information, looking for something that fell behind the seat, and switching radio stations while driving—even when slightly inebriated) had mismeasured the bathroom, so it was discovered the low-flow toilet would not fit thanks to the arc of the door opening. The low-flow toilet was then replaced with a standard toilet.
Anyway, I made the place quite nice, but after living here a few years, I realize some things need to be changed or upgraded. Time is running out—just over three months—and I need to make a list of things to get "fixed" in this place in what time remains. This list is more for my own benefit than anyone else's, so if you're looking for pithy commentary on Tokto, you'll have to wait. However, I do wlecome suggestions or comments, as well as gentle prodding to get off my ass and get to work on "the list" if you see me wasting any time, say, at Marmot's.
I still plan to post here on my blog, but not Marmot's (maybe not even Lost Nomad). It just takes too much of my time and it attracts unwanted attention. With Marmot's Korea Blog Aggregator, I can still be a link whore. But you all, as my minions, must do your part to keep the hits coming. When you go to Marmot's, Lost Nomad, Asia Pages, Coming Anarchy, or Japundit, feel free to sprinkle links to my relevant posts all over the commentary. You will be rewarded when the revolution comes. (By the way, if you're not sure if you really deserve—or want to be—called a Kushibo minion, the fact that you have read this far down in an obscurely titled, long post that still hasn't gotten to the meat of its purported purpose, then you ARE one of my minions, whether you like it or not. Either that or you're scanning for the word 'minion.')
Oh, here's the list:
1. Replace bathroom sink with sink built in to new counters.
The current sink is nice looking but provides no space underneath for towels. Also, it's too low. I find myself getting down on my knees just to wash my face.
2. Install medicine cabinet with sliding mirrors above the sink.
I need space for my meds. Lots and lots of meds (mostly vitamins, actually).
3. Install a funky shower head system in shower area.
Right now I've got a sprayer on a plastic tube. Who's going to pay a million won a month for that? Right now they have those cool things with all the massage spritzers, plus space to hold your shampoo.
4. Air conditioning.
This place is on the seventh floor and when the front and back windows are open, there is a very cool breeze that negates the need for an A/C. In fact, last summer I didn't even turn on the fan until late July. But in our comfort-me-I'm-slightly-agitated self-absorbed culture, I need to install a 2 million won A/C if I want to get more than 800K won a month on this place. I'm planning to get one of those two-unit set-ups, with the larger one in the living room/kitchen and the other in the big bedroom. The little bedroom (which will double as a computer room) will have to wait.
5. Get the oven fixed.
My electric oven sort of gave out last winter and I haven't had time to get them to come fix it.
6. Get the dishwasher fixed.
I think the Magic dishwasher I bought for this place needs to be sent back to the Hogwarts School.
7. Get a nice computer desk set-up for the small bedroom.
This will be a computer room if the renters are a single person or a couple. I had thought about getting one of those bunk-bed-on-top-of-desk set-ups, but then whoever is sitting at the computer won't be able to enjoy the view of the downtown skyline out the window there (or to see which of our neighbors are walking by and peering in the window). Besides, with the treadmill also in the room, it might be better to have just the desk.
8. Try out Skylife.
The cable TV arrangement sucks here. I think they've got one cable serving all forty units in this building alone. AFN and some of the movie channels (not the pay ones) are barely audible or visible. If I had my own dedicated set-up with the Skylife satellite, it might be better.
9. Install built-in closets in the big bedroom.
These are called 붙박이장 in Korean. They make a lot more sense in a small apartment than a bunch of dressers. They also look nice if you pay enough money.
10. Box up stuff I don't need to take to Hawai'i and put it in storage.
God, I don't even want to think about this one. My worst fear is that I end up leaving all my stuff in the small bedroom and lopping 300K won per month off the rent.
Things I'm debating:
1. A ceiling fan over the bed.
2. A new couch in the small living room.
(Note: this list may be revised later.)
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