"No it's alright, I don't want that. I'll just wait for someone to give me a full slice, or at least a different topping."
An argument ensued and I left the situation confused.
The moral of the story is beggars can in fact be choosers, but they really shouldn't be unless they are trying to confuse people.
So although my apartment conditions were less than ideal, I found it hard to complain about a free place - when I'm the one who chose to live in rural Korea. That being said, there's nothing wrong with capitalizing on an opportunity for improvement.
Those of you who read the last post (mom) might know my school offered to find a different apartment for me. I finally decided to take them up on the offer.
But I am in Korea, so this process was accompanied by the usual complications.
After packing up my entire life, I received a phone call telling me there was an issue with the new housing contract. With everything I own outside in boxes, on my scheduled moving day, I'm informed I no longer have an apartment. I'm then told to get into a car to look at a "bedroom" twenty minutes north.
At this point I'm homeless.
I have no future apartment, no past apartment, and I'm being forced to move away from everyone I know, into a smaller town, further from the village where I teach.
The whole debacle revolved around a security deposit.
Korean landlords often demand unruly deposits which they invest while tenants pay rent, returning the deposits only after collecting significant interest through their investments. It's a clever business strategy that is difficult to get around, and my school wasn't up for playing games. The "bedroom" I was looking at turned out to actually be a "bed" lost in translation, and my school administrators miraculously pulled through on a deal last minute to salvage my ability to live indoors.
After all the confusion my new and improved living situation looks like this:
It's uncomfortable and uncommon to challenge your "superiors" here, and because it was my Vice Principal who took me to look at the bed, I was pressured to bring it back to Uljin.
When I walked into my new apartment I found a perfectly comfortable and relatively new queen-sized bed, left for me by the previous owner. However, I now also had the other bed, which could fit maybe two dwarfs, sitting in the parking lot.
Everyone from school, in the interest of the Vice Principal, urged me to take the smaller bed which stops near my ankles. They were telling me this while I sat comfortable on the queen-sized bed which could fit four regular size people.
I didn't know what to do except buy time, and eventually most of the staff fizzled out while I remained in a stronghold with my my co-teacher, Kyu. Now Kyu is pretty awesome, and he agreed to help me keep the larger bed under one stipulation: I help him get rid of the evidence.
Somewhere along the way Kyu started treating the Vice Principal's bed like a dead body.
I dragged the bed outside in plain site and he panicked, frantically hiding it behind some pillars. He then walked around nervously in the parking area telling me to find somewhere to put it. I found a perfect fit in the no-parking zone, and we rushed to put the bed there. For now.
Everyday at school Kyu asks me about the bed.
"Has anyone seen it?"
"Do you know where we can put it?"
"Do you know someone that will take it for us?"
Kyu then told me if the Vice Principal asks, "Don't lie but just tell him that the bed is great."
I now spend more time each day thinking of places to put this bed than I do planning lessons.
It is very important that we get rid of it soon though, because a young man, perhaps homeless, has started sleeping on it.
I'm fine with him sleeping on the bed, but if he asks me for a slice of pizza he better actually eat it.