Well, it’s been a busy two days so far and we have been making headway on our plans here.
5:00 AM Joe had to get up early to go to Seoul today for work and I got up with him and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I found myself at the Starbucks in the hotel at 6:00 AM typing away to my mom on Yahoo Messenger (what a Godsend that messenger is).
9:00 AM With Joe in Seoul, I was off to run errands. I was quick to realize that nothing on base opens until 10 AM. I guess the troops don’t need to shop until mid morning or the Korean employees can’t come to work until then, who knows…? Anyway, after realizing I couldn’t pick up what I needed on base, I headed to downtown Songtan to Korea Realty to meet a man named Alex. He came recommended by the Korea forums Joe and I have been using so much.
10:00 AM Alex and I were on our way to look at 2 apartments in Songtan city, near my school, neither of which I liked. It’s funny what Korean landlords think are selling points to Americans. Microwaves are not a main selling point to me, maybe they are to other Americans. The Korean realtors here are one-stop shops for all your needs and they chaffeur you around to all the possible apartment listings you want to see, it’s really very convenient.
12:00 PM Shinjang-dong, the shopping district right outside the main gate, was just opening and setting up. I walked around for about an hour in the cold, trying not to get lost. The store names here that are translated into English are hilarious, I will take some photos of them for my next entry. I think my first paycheck will be blown on clothing, they have such great clothes here and anything they don’t have I can have specially made. I also stumbled upon a very typical Korean open-air food market where they have produce, fresh fish, chickens hanging from the windows, and other items you can’t even begin to imagine.
1:00 PM I walked back on base to finally get to the BX and picked up some lunch at Subway in the food court. After lunch I took a nice two hour nap which was greatly needed after getting up so early this morning.
4:00 PM Joe arrived back from Yongsan in Seoul and we went to meet Miss Sue again. She took us to Dong Bue Apartments, where we were last night and showed us the apartment we were thinking about. After some negotiations with the landlord who agreed to install a washer/dryer and some closets we decided to take the apartment at Dong Bue. It is very close to my school and in a great Korean neighborhood in Songtan City. It is far enough from base so that all the businesses are not Americanized and busy enough that we have all the amenities we need within a few blocks. Now, I just have to learn how to read Korean. I’m working on it and one of Joe’s co-workers lives in the same building in Dong Bue and his wife is Korean so she can help me out at the Korean markets. Miss Sue is hilarious… She came recommended from Captain Moore (Joe’s captain) and anything you ask her for, she has connections. “You want cell phone? I get you cell phone. Furniture, no problem, I take you shopping Saturday for microwave.” (There’s the microwave thing again.) “You need car, I take you to dealer in Anjung-ri for car, I get you good deal.” She’s a little, fashionable, fast-talking, Korean used car salesman, it’s awesome.
7:00 Joe and I found ourselves back on base, looking for something for dinner. We headed back to the BX for a few things I forgot earlier today and got a quick bite at the food court again. Tomorrow we have some appointments on base with housing for our apartment inspection and then we are going to my school at 2 PM to meet my director.
Overall, our days have been very productive and we have gotten quite far with all our settling in.