I'll write more later about the chat I had with my co-teacher during the van ride to the apartment, and the ensuing haggling match the office manager had with the Korean ajumma owner and realtor guy she brought with her to get the highest price . . . my co-teacher and I got watch the manager and realtor duke it out verbally in Korean, each going for a TKO price win; meanwhile in the background this Korean grandfather security guy with Arnold Schwarzenegger arms toured around 'fixing' things in the apartment . . . and occassionally jumping in to the verbal firefight going on about the price of the apartment . . .
I really 'enjoyed' standing around listening and watch the price war.
Anyways, here are pics of my apartment. If I have time later today I'll revisit this post and add more commentary.
I count myself really lucky that I already have plates, silverware, some small appliances, a microwave, desk, and some other things . . . because . . . there's NOTHING in the apartment.
I think the school found out they'd be getting a new foreign teacher at the absolute last second because they hadn't even sorted out the contract and price for the apartment (THIS IS THE *THIRD TIME* I'VE HAD THIS HAPPEN out of 4 public school contracts, lol, sigh). I get that and have no problem with this cause if that's the situation THEY were put in by the powers that be at higher levels I'm totally 'understanding of that situation'--wink wink, expats will get the humor here.
What I'm struggling with is that my co-teacher told me they only have X-dollars left over because my apartment was so expensive to get a contract for. It sounds like I'm going to be 'lucky' to get a bed--and that's it. The real gem was when she told me they'd get me a hotel room, but then hinted it'd only be for a few nights, and then I'd have to be in my apartment with or without a bed and just wait for the bed to arrive. I looked at her then and delivered a few choice words,
"You know, you're lucky I've been here for nearly five years. If you had a new teacher right now they'd be pretty upset that you just said they'd have to stay in their apartment next week without a bed . . ."
I was kind and polite and patient, but even I have a breaking point. I didn't yell or get angry at all and I think she appreciated it. But I don't think she knows what to do with a foreign teacher and as usual I'm going to have to patiently teach and communiate the basics of working with a foreign teacher, sigh.
We'll see how all of this apartment stuff goes--for now I'm staying with Julianne in her apartment because she won the foreign teacher apartment lottery that everybody gets a ticket in when they arrive in Korea. I'll put up pics of her place later.
The one thing that makes all this other crap easy to deal with is the location of my apartment is amazing, and the overall conditions of the place are good (newness, cleanliness, everything seems to work). Even the fact that I have no power or gas because the building manager doesn't work on weekends and no one seemed to think it was necessary to call his butt into to turn it on isn't bothering me . . . lol.
Anyways . . . wish me luck,