Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Garden of Eden

As you may recall, I now have my own apartment...let the adventure continue...

It meant I would have to go shopping, and while I have my moments, I’m not that much of a shopper at the end of the day, but I figured I could take a stab at it for this. On the Monday following the purchase of the apartment I was off to the Realtor again to pick up keys and have him drive me over to the place again, which the kind gent did, even though he was not expecting me in the least.

I was happy to walk into the apartment again, and this time actually paid attention to things I had missed on the first viewing. The Realtor showed me how to turn on the heat and hot water, and where the bathroom was again, and then handed me the keys, bowed politely and walked out. I was, for the first time, alone in my new apartment. I took a look around. It was, as I recalled, a big rectangle. It did come with some furniture, a small tv table that was done in very dark walnut and a shoe cabinet done in the the Boye color.

The apartment itself is white with a faded faux marble yellow linoleum floor, like so many faux floors in Korea. When you open the door you can see the frosted glass doors that lead to what is usually the laundry deck area. I opened the doors, recalling them from the last time. What I did not realize was that the large set of clear windows opposite the frosted doors were also sliding glass doors. These doors opened out into a small garden.

A garden. I have to be the only waygook living in an apartment in Korea who has an honest to god garden. The garden comes with three two nice trees, some ferns, a few bushes here and there….it is actually quite cute and I haven’t the foggiest idea what to do with it, but I was mighty pleased to realize that I have it, and will endeavor to think of something as the months move towards warmer, garden like weather. I’m thinking of putting a small table and some chairs out there, but we will just have to see.

In the meantime, after finding the amazing garden, I was back checking out the big empty square room and thinking that I needed to figure out what kind of furniture exactly I wanted to put it in. I knew that I would need a bed, no question there, I was thinking a desk would be nice, and then some bookshelves. Since I actually get to furnish the place myself I wanted to do the opposite of every apartment I’ve lived in here. I did not want to have a bunch of unnecessary furniture I did not need.

For some reason Koreans seem to believe that all westerns need to have an excessive abundance of space eating furniture in their places. Over-sized desks, chairs, sofas, tables, etc, etc. It actually can be a bit tedious to have all this unnecessary stuff in an already sort of small place. So, I wanted to keep it simple, but make it home. I trip to the market was required. So I locked the door, checked to make sure I had the card that the Realtor had so handily written my address on, and then started towards the market. Before leaving I turned to check the name of the apartment building.

Apartments in Korea tend to have names. I never did learn the name of my first apartment although I always figured it was Zany, but that was only the name of the bar on the first floor under my apartment. The name of the apartment was never really very clear. I knew from pizza ordering experience that the apartment I was living in when at the Village was called Bo-sung apartment. Not to be confused with Boo-sung apartment which was across the street. Ah, the endless fighting with cabs to make that one clear. I walked out of my new little apartment house, turned and looked back to read the name that is posted so neatly above the door in both English and Korean. I am now officially living in Eden

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