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Aug 9th 2006

Wal-Mart and the A/C Ordeal

Well... to say the least it has been a wild week here in our apartment! First of all, our place is great. We've tried to make it home, and it's starting to feel that way. When we arrived here our apartment was pretty bare, except for a fridge, hotplate, a couple dishes, a knife and a table and chairs. Well on our second day in the country, the guy who used to live here came to pick up the kitchen table and chairs, further reducing the stuff we had. Instead of taking it we paid him 60,000 won (about $70) so that we could keep them.

Jill posing in front
of Wal-Mart

Also on our second day here we found a Wal-Mart! First of all it is much nicer than the Wal-Mart at Fairview Park Mall, and second it has a full grocery store with a bunch of food from home. We were able to purchase a bunch of household items (like a broom, plates, silverware, cleaning supplies) in addition to some food. We will still try to shop at local stores, but unfortunately the only stores around us for the most part are convenience stores, making Wal-Mart the best option.

So due to a couple trips to Wal-Mart, and a visit from the friendly neighbourhood high-speed internet man, our place was nearly complete... almost. The temperature here has not yet dropped below 30 degrees (it goes down to 25 at night) and it has been humid (at least 75% every day). For days I had a perma-sweat going on, and Jill has refused to touch me. If you weren't sitting in front of the fan (but thank goodness for the fan) you would sweat. So finally we got word from our boss that the man would come and install the air conditioning last Monday. Sunday night was a great sleep because we knew that it would be our last sleep in humidity. Monday afternoon the a/c guy came, plunked the unit down and said that he would be back on Tuesday to install it. I gathered this from his limited English "Today... impossible", "Tomorrow... possible."

The a/c guy came back on Tuesday to install the unit outside. As he was going up the ladder outside our window to attach the external unit, the woman in the apartment across the alleyway started yelling at him. I could not understand what she was yelling about but it sounded serious. The guy just ignored her and went about his business.

one of our neighbours, angry
about our air conditioner

About 5 minutes later, a man who seemed to be the landlord in the apartment next door started yelling at the a/c guy, at the top of his voice. The a/c guy then called our landlord, who came down and went nose to nose in an argument with the other building's landlord. Basically the neighbour across the way was complaining that our a/c unit would blow hot air into her window, and make noise so she wanted it moved. For the second day in a row the job was put on hold. One more night of sweat!


Finally on Wednesday the ordeal came to an end, the a/c unit was moved to the satisfaction of the neighbour and wonderful cool air filled our house! We had a wonderful sleep for the first time since arriving, and oh yeah... we've finally gotten over the jet lag, coincidence? We think not.

Everything is small in Korea even the cans of Coke


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