It’s Our Cotton Anniversary & Finding A Home In Korea
Today is our second wedding anniversary! Time really flies when you’re having fun.
I hadn’t even realized the cotton anniversary was upon us until it was here. Has it really been two years? Yes, it has and this year we’re thankful for not only each other but also moving into a new place where we can cozy up on our couch in our pajamas together to call our home for the foreseeable future.
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Waking up in a place that we’re so stoked to be in was a feat and I wasn’t ready to write about it until now. With the criteria only being a bright, aka not in the basement, three-room home with enough room for a couch and a western style table to eat at, we didn’t think it’d be all that difficult. We must have looked at 25 places before we found this one though. The realtors just could not understand why we needed a couch AND a dining table and kept showing us places with only room for one. They kept telling me it was bright, when I could clearly see it was not. Does the word “bright” have a different meaning that I don’t know of? I will never understand why Korean realtors think they know best. Please just show me what I’m asking for and we’ll both be much happier. Trust me, I will say “no” every time if you show me a place with a living room the size of a closet. It just won’t work for my western minded mentality, but that’s why I’m telling you in advance. We’ve also learned that if my husband goes in alone, they’ll show him dirtier places, apparently assuming that guys are easy to please and won’t mind dirt or mold festering under the wallpaper. Yes, he was easier to please with some things, but he likes a place just as neat and tidy as do.
No, I did not want my fridge in a room other than the kitchen. We saw 4 houses built with no space for a fridge. No, I did not want a house with mold. Why is that even an option? If the cabinets in the kitchen were built so that one of the doors is blocked by a perpendicular cabinet, thereby making the first cabinet inaccessible, what else was improperly installed? One house had current residents who didn’t want to move, but they’d gotten in when the house was only 50 million won and they’d stayed for all of these years and now the house would be 150 million won with new owners and so the landlord put the house on the market without telling them. They did not want us looking at the house and made that clear. No, I don’t want to kick residents out of their house and if the landlord is happy to do that to them, what would he be happy to do to us? So many houses, so many issues and though Jae-oo was ready to move into the third one we saw, I was not. I told him I wanted to find the one. The one that suited our needs, the one we could stay in for longer than two years and really just the one for us, and our two needy cats.
When we first saw this house we were unsure afterward and asked for a second look the next day. Would it work for us? We had to picture it without the large kimchi fridge, which is an extra fridge aside from the normal fridge in many Korean houses. We wanted to measure the rooms and see how they compared to our existing house. Could we fit everything in comfortably? We headed in for a look and the woman of the house invited us in and told us to take our time and even sit down for a cup of coffee to see how the house suited us. She was actually the landlord and had taken great care of her house. She was going to move outside of Seoul, though she’d still own the building, and just the first ten minute chat with her told us she was friendlier and less intrusive than our last landlords, a huge bonus.
We had found it! It’s so bright and not just in the morning, but all day. We don’t have to use the lights and we don’t even have to use the heat during the day this winter because it is warmed by the sun that floods in through the windows that aren’t blocked by other buildings. The floors are not the linoleum that is on many villa floors, so our cats can’t tear at the edges, which they loved to do in our last place and there are even built in closets for storage. The kitchen has more counter space and cabinet space and yes, there’s room for a dining table and a couch.
The landlord was even nice enough to move out a week before our moving date so that we could get in early and clean and re-wallpaper and whatever else needed to be done. I’ve always felt so rushed when we have to move out and in the day after someone else moved out with no time to go in and clean beforehand. We had movers that did all the moving work for us and suddenly we were in the place and happily settled.
There is still a little work to be done, some shelves to be hung and curtain rods to be secured, but we’re in and being able to celebrate our second anniversary in this lovely house that we now call a home is wonderful.
Even the cats have decided that they like it too. There was a lot of hesitation on their part at the beginning, not a fan of real floors obviously. Space for me and my many hobbies and a room set aside for Jae-oo and his ten guitars and massive desk.
Another year has gone by and I am so happy to be where I am with this guy. Happy Second Anniversary to us… and of course our baby, who aren’t so little anymore, cats.