dust to dust, without fridge, without decency

Posted: January 22, 2011 in domestication, expatriate, marriage, wife, husband, house

There are gaping holes in the interior designscape.  We ate delivery Korean for lunch yesterday while sitting in beach chairs in the middle of our living room.

The fridge is gone.  The laundry room is bereft of its central agent.  The laundry room is a perfect 46˚ F and acts as a walk-in fridge.  For breakfast I had a yogurt with a sprinkling of rust garnished with paint chips.

Look at that broom on the left.  Yesterday, when asked to do something about the mess, he lay down and started laughing.  What he said to me was reprehensible and will not be reprinted here, but it involved “you’re” “fucking,” and “joking.”  Later I heard him tell the vacuum cleaner that Union rules don’t allow him to work with asbestos [??].  Vacuum called him a lazy bastard, to which Broom retorted, “You don’t suck.  Did you see where the fridge used to be?” Vacuum’s taut defense was that the issue behind the refrigerator was not his fault.  It’s true.  As many times as I vacuumed this house, I only once pulled out the fridge.  Union rules be damned.  I take full responsibility.

Other things I take responsibility for:

  1. Many of the pictures are doctored, so the dust and decay that was behind our appliances looks worse than it actually is.  I am not making excuses, but I put the question to you: What does it look like behind your washer and fridge?  Don’t be a pansy.  Go ahead and look.  Comment here and join the Trade Union of Those Who Don’t Clean Often Behind Their Appliances (TUTWoDoCOBTA).
  2. I may have been to blame for a SNAFU yesterday when it came to the mover.  The day before.  He quoted a price of 120,000 KRW without asking how big the fridge was or even seeing the place.  I thought this was a fair price because I was under the assumption that he was using a second man for the job.  Upon his arrival, he was alone; and he looked at our items and upped the price to 150,000 KRW.   What am I going to do?  On such short notice, I was stuck.  Pissed off and stuck.  I agreed and he moved all the items in about an hour or so.  The arrangement I had made with the receivers (a couple from Chicago who live across town) is for them to pay the guy in cash and deduct the balance they owed us.  I thought this would reduce the number of times money changed hands.  What I should have done is pay my half and then be done with it.  But I didn’t.  I’m getting a little salty about the whole thing just writing it, realizing my logistical blunder all over again.

Long story short is that that mover apparently charged the Chicagoans 200,000 KRW.  I didn’t find this out till later when I was checking if the money had yet been deposited; I was getting a little pissed and nervous that the Chicagoans were going to skip town on their vacation without paying (what would we be able to do after all, right?  We’re out of this apartment in 9 days.).  Anyhow, the chick from Chicago was “busy” all day, and she was our only contact, the one on the other end who knew of the 150,000 KRW fee.  Her boyfriend was at home and had no idea of the 150,000 KRW agreed to because people from Chicago don’t seem to know how to communicate with these things called email, cell phones and voices.  Poor HunJong was caught in the middle of all this and he called the mover, who, of course, said he only got the agreed-to amount.  He said he said with a whole lot of she didn’t say.  Somebody doesn’t know how to speak about or count KRW.  But, more likely, somebody saw an opportunity to screw us.

Granted, it’s only 50,000 KRW in the end, but it’s the principle of the matter.  It is things like this that give me no faith in basic decency; it makes me want to treat people as the crooks they probably are.  This is the old pessimist coming to the fore.  This is my ignorance.  This is my indolence.  This is the frustration of language barriers.  This is the result of a long-missing sense of novelty.  But then the something akin to a realist comes in and says that my self-loathing and self-effacement is a result of the politically correct society from whence I came.

To be fair, most foreigners here aren’t exactly the cream of the crop in their own countries (with the exception of my wife and a few friends, of course); being flaky, late, and cheap are all firmly reinforced stereotypes.  But it does no good to spend time on foreign or even Korean stereotypes, except to say that the incidents of yesterday left me feeling ill-will and just flat out ill about things here.  Today, all I can do is move forward with the packing and laugh it off like some lazy, crazy talking broom in the corner of a walk-in refrigerator.

  1. amfitztastic says:

    “Most foreigners here aren’t exactly the cream of the crop in their own countries (with the exception of my wife and a few friends, of course), being flaky, late, and cheap….”

    From someone who spent an extended period of time in Korea, I thought we all knew that sweeping generalizations are unhelpful and usually offensive.

    • nikoli28 says:

      [I write the following not knowing if amfitztastic is being ironic.]

      From someone who spent an extended period of time in Korea, I thought we all knew that sweeping generalizations are often difficult to avoid when anger and disappointment color our experiences, as was the case with the confluence of events yesterday. The question remains: does political correctness keep us from telling of our experiences and how we perceive and depict them, or are we doomed to dilute actualities so as not to make people feel awkward or offended?

  2. […] revive my faith in humanity.  We needn’t rehash all that you can read on the January 22 entry (https://nikoli28.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/217/).  It’s good to know that people are out there doing positive things and enjoying their […]

  3. Skeeve says:

    Surprisingly I find sweeping generalizations, while often colorful and politically incorrect, have a strange habit of being true most of the time. One can only attempt to not be part of the generalizations made, unless they of course are stated in a positive manner.

    Anyways, political correctness has removed the necessity from our lives of seeing things from a different perspective. Removing the impetus from self-analysis and positive change. Hurray for being politically correct! (/sarcasm).

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