The room sat an utter mess for an entire week: suitcases still brimming with odds and ends along with my disassembled bed, mattress bare and taking up the dead-center of the floor. So finally, Saturday (yesterday), I took a weekend day off from meeting with friends for drinks, shopping, and dining to finally straighten it up. The previous tenant left an ABSOLUTE mess. Years of urine seemed to be baked into the tiles surrounding the toilet. The floor had muddy foot prints on it. Sweeping under the fridge, I felt like a detective of the occupants before me: I found (lots of dust,) several baby spoons, a package of baby wet wipes, cat food, a tiny photo album of a baby girl, along with a huge photo of a mom, dad, and the same baby in hanbok at what looked like a birthday celebration for the baby. What I'm thinking is, You mean to tell me that a baby, a cat, and possibly another adult all lived in this same tiny space? Wowza.
I literall spent the entire day cleaning, sorting, and rearranging. I want to post pictures of how it is now to show what a difference getting rid of some of the furniture made. I found out that in the little closet that holds my water heater and airconditioner, there's a ton more space to shove other things to get them out of the way. I decided that setting up the bed with the side railings and headboard would just take up too much space, so I set the mattress on its platform and called it a day. I moved my two huge pieces of luggage, side rails from the bed, my fan, and my coffee table into the closet and now I'm free, free, free. I feel like I may want to have guests over now! Getting sunlight and removing all that clutter has really made a difference in my mood. Yesterday was the first day that I actually felt comfortable just staying at home, by myself. A body needs that, you know.
This weekend is Seollal, Korean Lunar New Year. Many things were closed and the streets were pretty empty. It's like Christmas in America: women make tons of food, spending the whole time with family, leaving the city to visit relatives, giving gifts of money to children and grand-children. On Friday night, Ashley invited a bunch of my friends over to her place in Sanbon, where our friend, Gideon, made panang curry and we ate until we exploded. There was wine, ddeok (a kind of semi-sweet glutinous rice cake, see pic below), strawberries; it was the best!
Here are some more pics that Sean Han took of the event.
The girl with the long blonde hair is Ashley, blonde hair worn up is Meredith, super-tall guy at the helm of the curry operation is Gideon--he just got a suit tailored for him in Itaewon because he simply cannot buy clothes anywhere else in Korea--and making a very small appearance from the back is Steve, from Stillwater, MN.
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