Saturday, September 10, 2011

Settling in Suwon...

Less than two weeks ago, I made the move to my new city...Suwon, South Korea, and embarked on another chapter of my life in Korea. I have a new apartment (with no furniture at the moment), a new job (which I am completely happy with), and a new city to explore (which is MUCH bigger than my sweet little town of Uljin!).  

Here are just a few things I have experienced in the past few weeks.

Renting an Apartment: It sucks! Housing in the city is very difficult to acquire...well, decent housing. I think I should do an entire blog post on renting in Korea, but I must say here that it is a challenge not meant for the weak-minded. Everything from the deposit to the actual rent is negotiable and can change on a moments notice. Oh, the things I could say! Regardless, I did find a very, very nice place in the center of the city close to shopping and other amenities. Ok, so finding the apartment sucks, but the actual apartment is FABULOUS!!!

Moving: It sucks! That's about all I can say about that. I moved from Uljin to my friend's apartment while waiting for mine to be ready, then moved into mine. Additionally, I still had stuff in Uljin that had to be moved to Suwon. This is NOT an easy feat! Through another friend, I was able to secure a mover and got all of my belongings in one place. Whew! While challenging, it was managed and now all of my things are in my new apartment. I just have to unpack...

Driving in the City: It sucks! The traffic in Suwon is insanely busy and not at all like my sleepy Uljin town. It is going to take some getting used to, but I think I may be a bit too scared to actually drive my scooter here. Oh, how I love my little scooter, but I love living more and don't want to find myself plastered to the pavement. I am considering selling him to a new, less-afraid, driver, but I must think on this some more. Regardless, traffic is insane, but still nothing compared to Seoul!

Purchasing Appliances and Furniture: It sucks! Not being able to speak Korean can make this a bit challenging. Even if one manages to find a good deal on something, a truck of some sort must be procured in order to move said items to new abode. Ugh. However, it has been kind of fun scouring the second-had stores and looking for good items. I also managed to find a lovely Korean high school girl who has been acting as a translator for me. Oh, Katy! I am soooo happy you are here!

Riding buses and subways and cabs-Oh my! It doesn't totally suck, but it can be frustrating to get on the wrong bus going the wrong way at the wrong time...ugh!! On a positive note, I have discovered many useful places and things on my little mishaps including a Goodwill and good restaurants. See, it's not all bad~

This transition has been a bit more challenging than my initial transition to Korea. I think it is because of two things. One, I was scheduled to fly home this weekend after completing my one year contract. I was looking forward to seeing family and friends, especially my oldest son, Brandon, but I could not secure a job in the States. Second, I have had to do many more things on my own, such as finding an apartment, securing furnishings, finding my way around a big city. Overall, I cannot complain. I have a great job in a beautiful city. I'm living in a three bedroom/two bath apartment near a gorgeous park for the same price as I would pay for a studio back home. I have my youngest son here with me and friends across the country and around the world. This is one wild ride, but at least it is an awesome adventure! :-)


  1. In Suwon? I'm living in Suwon-Yong-in Area (going to work in Japan very soon though) If you have any questions I may be able to get answers from my husband whose family has been in Suwon for 10+ years. I have seen a lot of Korea and you will surely find it different from Uljin and the seaside. Sometimes it has me feeling quite penned in from apartment towers that stretch forever down the valleys, and the new structures that look like thorns being plucked from the center of the Earth, all dark and behemoth. Enjoy being able to visit Suwon fortress though! And (fairly) easy (but takes time) to get to Seoul. Can totally relate to bus exasperations...

  2. Thanks, Malia!!! My place is in Ingye-dong. I have FINALLY figured out the bus to work and am discovering new things about this incredible city. I enjoy the park on my rooftop as well as the proper park nearby. It is definitely not the sleepy, seaside town of Uljin, but it still holds that special Korean charm I have grown to love. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I am soon going to join SKK University in Suwon and loking for an apartment. As I am from India and has no idea about Korea. Can you please help me where and how to find a suitable accommodation.