I was sharing my apartment with a friend and let's just say that we didn't make the best of roommates...
So I decided that I would opt-in to the housing Korea University provides for its international faculty.
Pros: Free utilities and internet, extremely close to work, in a building with friends, balcony
Cons: Hasn't been renovated since probably the early 90s (do you have any idea how much has changed about the way people live in Korea since the early 90s?!), on top of Mt. Doom, half the size of my old place
The way that I chose to move into this apartment... well... it was the ABSOLUTE WRONG WAY! So please, read on and learn from my mistakes...
The RIGHT Way to Move
People move, it's in our nature. We either upgrade our homes due to success or downgrade due to strife. Korea is absolutely no different. However, moving house in Korea might be a little different from the way people do it in your home country. There are the classic moving vans, much like the U-Hauls of America. I feel pretty comfortable in saying that you could rent one of these beasts, but you need a certain classification of driver's license (the standard one doesn't even qualify you to drive a mini-van).
The most typical way people move is with moving companies that use an open-air moving truck. I am pretty sure that if you look up the word "efficiency" in the dictionary there will be a picture of a Korean moving truck next to it. These guys are crazy good at their job. They'll move your stuff with a degree of speed that will appear to border on dangerous and these guys are STRONG! We're talking like Hulk strong. I saw a mover pick up two bags that I knew weighed over 70lbs (32kg) and carry them like they were nothing.
Moving companies also have a lot of special deals that I haven't seen before. Moving into an apartment with no elevator and have some stuff that won't fit up the twisty stairs? You can hire a company that will pop out one of your windows and set up a lift to usher things up and down. Don't have time to pack up all your stuff? For an extra fee, they'll come to your completely unpacked apartment, pack everything for you, and deliver it to your new place. Ugly people make you nauseous? You can hire "Flower Boy" movers who are literally just movers who happen to also be insanely hott.
Moving companies in Korea are reasonably priced and damn good at their jobs. They are THE ONLY WAY to move house. But, if you, like I, are a stupid idiot that shouldn't be allowed near large machinery, you can go for...
The WRONG Way to Move
I'm moving out of my apartment a few weeks before my roommate, so I thought that movers would be confused that they weren't having to move everything and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to properly mime that they only needed to take the bags, nothing else. In hindsight, this moment of awkwardness would have been sooooo worth it to have two nice gentlemen do all of this for me.
I packed up all my stuff into roughly eight suitcases and a few other bags and took a look at it. My stupid stupid brain looked at these begs and said "yeah, this is doable!" and proceeded to do the dumbest thing possible. I grabbed as many of the bags as I could carry comfortably and went to grab a taxi...
|Pictured here: NOT.A.MOVING.VAN|
Top Reasons Why You Shouldn't Move by Taxi
1) Chances are, your starting point isn't on a main street. This means you'll have to drag your crap at least one, if not more, city blocks to get anywhere close to a taxi. Then you'll have to wait for an available taxi, which can take for freaking ever, no matter how sure you are that this isn't a busy time of day. Then you might have the worst luck, like me, and it'll start raining while you stand waiting for a taxi.
2) Taxi drivers are sometimes asshats who won't help you load your bags in or out and will actually give you dirty looks for taking more than 2 seconds to get into their taxi.
3) Sometimes you're moving to an apartment where you're unaware of the best driving route. Sometimes the only driving route you're aware of will have a road block preventing the taxi driver from carrying you the final 40 meters to the front door of your apartment building. Because you are stupid unlucky these last 40 meters will be uphill.
4) Maybe the apartment you're moving into will be on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator and all of your bags will be stupid heavy because you crammed them as full as possible.
5) There's no way you'll be able to move everything in one trip, which means multiple trips, annoyed taxi drivers, uphill battles, and lugging heavy as shit bags to the top of Mt. Doom.
6)YOU COULD HAVE PAID SOMEONE TO DO ALL OF THIS FOR YOU AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER IN LIKE 20 MINUTES, TOPS, YOU STUPID IDIOT!
Please, people, learn from my massive mistake. I've been weightlifting on average three times a week for the past year, so I think I was more prepared than some people would be to take on this challenge. All in all, I'm moved out, I didn't break anything, and I'm only moderately sore the next day. I'd call it an achievement that I NEVER NEED TO DO AGAIN EVEREVEREVER!!! Seriously... I'm going to save the phone number of a flower boy moving company in my phone for next time... mmmm... sexy moving men...