When we last left our hero, he had overcome an ajussissy's stupidity and actually got moved into his rather grimy place. Now it's time to take a look. It's cheapish and scheduled to be demolished in the name of urban renewal. Walk about a kilometer away and you can see it already happening on the edges:
|Houses and businesses already sacrificed on the altar of progress.|
But this also give the neighborhood a certain cool griminess that I like. Here is a completely random abandoned storefront worrying about forest fires:
Right in the middle of no hills whatsoever
And a studio that is never open, but is always cool.
|Tattoos? Book Covers? Paintings? I duuno, I just want one.|
The rest of the neighborhood is typical "old" Korea with a bunch of shiny new stores selling crap from Samsung on the two big roads that cross and then funky little restaurants, veggie (야채) stores and various little knick-knacks that I can't believe anyone would purchase. The funkiness is partly dented by the fact that, because it is a marginal neighborhood, it is also a kind of artist area, and there is even a two hour walk through the hood that shows off the various murals and art installations people have created. There's a map and a dotted yellow-brick road.
|"follow, follow, follow, follow|
But that picture should also give you an idea of the narrowness (if not the windiness) of the hood. And then, there's the fact that to even get to the place from the closest station on line 6 you must ascend Grim Mt. Doom.
|And he's climbing a stairway towards infarction.|
Then, finally, you get to the house and enter a small, always unlocked door which reveals an alley always ratpacked with junk - 김장 day was particularly dire as it was a veritable cave of cabbage and many other vegetables I could not begin to name:
|Door inside door is to landlady's mad pad|
On the right, which you can't see from the picture above, are some six-foot ranger (ask Jennifer) stairs
|There's a double-back at the top of this that leads to my front door.|
The next photo is the actual front door... please note utter pinkess of windows
|It's all pink on the inside|
And then to the inside, where the greatest feature of all is the bathroom. The space between the toilet and the overhead stairs is so small that the toilet cover will stand up, but the toilet seat will not. The old tenant acknowledged this cheerily and added, "so I just piss in the kitchen sink."
LOL.. not only too much information, but immediately changed how I thought that kitchen sink smelled.
Out came the bleach!
|There's that pink styrofoam again|
|The careful eye will see the edge of the toilet seat down there in the lower right-hand corner.|
But someone had the sense of humor to put this on the bathroom door
The inside is cold... as you can see from the following pics, some previous tenant had invested in some pink styrofoam and tried to close off as many places as they could:
Yep, all that pink is styrofoam.
Part of the problem is the boiler is apparently assembled from parts salvaged from the Civil War - both the on in the Korea and the one a century earlier in the US:
I continue the efforts to insulate the place - fortunately this is the kind of neighborhood where people just toss shit out on the street, and I am the kind of scavenging rat which will pick up anything useful. Inside is actually nice and spacious"
|Small, but more than adequate|
|where the genius will be done|
|carefullly mosquito-netted bed, as they do manage to creep in|
The hood, being a mix of family, art, and wreckage, is great... outside my kitchen window there's a pavilion where grandparents hang out to chat during the day (the inevitable bottle of makkeolli and anju always present). There's a school a bit up the hill, so there's about an hour each day that the kids wander home, playing and joking with each other. At about seven the sounds of ajjumah making dinner start banging around the neightborhood and then, with the exception of a sometimes whiney dog, all goes pretty quiet. It has a very "neighborhood" feel like Gyeongnidan (the old hood) did before the Kyuppies descended, so I'm rather happy with that.
I suckle away at a 40 oz bottle of soju, contemplate which of my kitchen knives is sharpest, and cruise the Internet for pictures of a dubious nature. So, all things told, pretty good.
When it gets below freezing I'm a bit worried about the hilliness of the area, as my fat ass and gravity seem to have come to an agreement to meet as often as possible and devil the hindquarters (so to speak), which are usually my elbows or the back of my head. We'll see how that works out.
I describe the place as adequate, but the kind of place I would NEVER move into if I were single, because the minute a woman saw it she'd run screaming, probably for the police. Til March, it should work. If June becomes necessary, it will work. After that its lack or Air Conditioning must make it some version of hell on earth, but on a hill.
Homey won't play that.^^
Any questions, class?^^