Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Shhh, we're hunting sleeping accomidations

Now with an apartment that would soon have furniture....

I believe that during a bout of apartment finding celebration on Friday I had mentioned to the happy bar owner of my bar away from home, the Commune, Hyunshik for those of you who follow all the names, that I needed help getting a bed. Hyun happily volunteered to take me bed shopping the following week, and on Tuesday I had an appointment to go in search of a bed for my place. So after finishing my grueling workday on Tuesday I walked over to the Commune to meet Hyun who was driving over to pick me up at 1:00. He arrived in his car, which he related to a piece of things better left unsaid, and we were back off to Chilsung market.

He managed to find a parking space without too much trouble on the street, and we went across the rode and into a bed store to look for beds. Actually to say that he found a space would be a misstatement. For while we were certainly using street side parking there was a Korean gentlemen there handing out time tickets  who would later collect money for the amount of time spent parking on the street. While there is little to determine if this was in fact an actual timed parking space, or just an engineering guy who liked to give people pieces of paper and take money, none can say can be sure which is really true.

At the store the shop keeper came to greet us. He was an older gentlemen who very much resembled a gangster at the heights of gangstering. The older Korean gangster fellow asked what we were about, and I wasn’t much following the conversation as I was looking at the selection. Suddenly Hyun was pulling me along, into a back alley (somehow located inside the store) up some stairs and to a secret bed warehouse where I was implored to jump on beds to test them out. I looked at one, asked how much it was, and had a seat. I asked if they had something even remotely more comfortable then this one.

I don’t know why it is, but there is this thing with uncomfortable beds in Korea. If I wanted to sleep on the floor I wouldn’t bother with bed shopping. For some readily unapparent reasons beds here are made to resemble the floor sleeping experience without the comfort of actually sleeping on the floor. I told Hyun that I didn’t actually mind spending a fair amount of money for a bed as long as it was comfortable.

So, Hyun asked if there was anything else and I was pointed to the end of the row to a bed that, I was told, was the most expensive in the store. I went over and happily flopped down, nearly dislocating my shoulder, causing my spine to jump through the back of my neck, and possibly chipping a tooth when my jaw knocked together. To say that the most expensive bed was less comfortable would be an understatement. It was more like a slab of rock, covered in cement, and finished with granite for good measure, in case anyone thought that the maker of the bed was not serious about comfort.

I was a little surprised, a little annoyed, and a little angry figuring I probably would get some rather nice bruises from having stumbled so carelessly onto the most expensive bed in the store. I asked “What gives?” thinking certainly not the bed, to which Hyun kindly asked the mattress Mafioso why in the world this bed was so hard. The explanation, apparently, was that the more expensive a bed was the harder it would be. So I thought about it for a second and asked Hyun “Tell him to show me the cheapest mattress he’s got!” Alas, for bed store number one, however, we had struck out, so it was down the stairs, and out onto the street to try and find another shop with a bed so cheap that I would be comfortable sleeping in it.

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