Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ode to My First Apartment

Last Halloween was pretty terrible, and this one has been appallingly shitty, too, honestly. I couldn't go out last night or tonight because yesterday was a 12-hour work day after which I had to finish packing in order to come straight home tonight and meet the guy who took most of my stuff to a storage unit in what will be my new city an hour away. And I'm sick. And I've been dressed like a pirate through all of it. And there's a whole lot of drama again. At least I didn't start making a costume I ended up tearing in half this time, I guess, though there are a great number of things I'm on the verge of ripping to shreds as it is.

Your captain is severely displeased with your shenanigans.

You know who you are.



The apartment I was given when I took my first hagwon job in Korea was actually my first apartment ever. I had wanted to do a video tour of it in the style of Christopher Walken's The Continental from SNL but I was never motivated enough, and it wouldn't have really been worth it anyway, though that was the joke.

This is the stupid poem I wrote to bid a fond farewell to my crummy little rabbit hutch:

Goodbye Manager Kim,
you've been really nice.
You gave me cookies on New Years',
a subtle threat to my life.
Once you thought you saw me half-naked;
I was in fact wearing shorts.
Complained about my air con use in August,
and a measly $35 chose to extort.

Goodbye black mould infestation,
for some time I slept with you next to my head.
After an ongoing upper respiratory infection,
I turned around the bed.
Good old Mr. Kim came in and re-papered the wall.
Don't be silly, Korea, that doesn't kill it at all.
A squirt bottle full of bleach, I thought, will have to do.
The spots still touching my sheets are of a blueish hue.

Goodbye house centipedes,
you almost made me cry.
I'd never seen one of you before
and the number of legs is too damn high.
Goodbye ants, gnats and mosquitoes,
can't say I enjoyed the battle.
Staining the cheap crappy wallpaper,
a significant number of blood splatters.

Goodbye ancient cooling unit,
you don't work particularly well.
It was never really cool enough during the summer,
but in winter the floor was hotter than Hell.
Goodbye one-burner range,
it's really hard to cook with just you.
Same with the 12x18" counter space.
I dare you to try and make food.

Goodbye ridiculously unreliable Internet,
I had nothing but trouble with you.
The broadband here is the fastest in the world,
so naturally, I got screwed.
For a while there I spent more time jiggling the cable than 
being connected, and couldn't figure out where the signal had gone.
When the repair guy came and said nothing was wrong
I honestly had to wonder what kind of pills he was on.

Goodbye mysterious 2nd floor woman
who cooks exceedingly well.
I don't think it was always Korean food,
and I really enjoyed the smells.
Goodbye people in the next building, 
I have a lovely view of your brick wall.
Though after seeing your lights on at literally all hours
I have to wonder, do you ever turn them off at all?

Goodbye people who came by
to look at my place.
Your presence made me feel weird
and I hate that you saw my un-made-up face.
This system of showing an apartment that's still occupied
doesn't really sit well with me
But if I'm naked when you come by, I'm naked.
That's how it's gonna be.

Goodbye violent sneeze man, who I would hear at night.
Goodbye random couples who would occasionally fight.
Goodbye annoying kids walking by on the street.
Goodbye loud patter of annoying grandchild feet.

It's been fun, it's been nice, but I guess I've gotta go.
Because companies here don't care about the fact that you'll be moving 20 days before the end of your contract, and that really blows.