In Search of a Comfy Place to Live At


There’s no place like home, that’s true. But when situation requires you to be miles away from home, you yourself have to find a new shelter to live at…as close the feeling of at home as you can. At least that’s what i feel.

I used to go camping for days up in the mountain or do volunteer works to a very remote area where toilet might be just an enclosed carton cubical with a hole on the ground to throw our poo. And my hobby is backpacking which cheap accommodation is the only option. But living in a temporary hostel/shelter is completely different from living in permanent place. In those temporary place, they’re just a place to take a rest at night and take a shower at for a few days or the longest is a month. But in permanent one,  where i’m gonna be away from home for likely two years, I dwell there. So when the place fails to accomodate my very basic needs, for me it fails its function as a permanent dwelling.

The reason why i’m bringing up this topic is of course because i’ve been struggling with my current place. The rent is cheap, probably the cheapest in entire Seoul with only 160 thousands won per month, but there is a big BUT.

You know what are the three basic designs an architecture student must do over and over again until she/he is sick of (if not mastering them)? The three basic designs that when a fresh grad starts working in an architecture firm he/she will handle for the whole probation period and won’t go up the next design level until the supervisor senior architect give an “okay”? The three basic designs that seem to be insignificantly small but surprisingly very complicated that when those three fails the whole design will fail and the worst case scenario may cost people’s lives. They are the design for bathroom/toilet (the wet zone), kitchen (the fire zone) and the stairs. And in my opinion, my current place fails me on these basic designs except for the stairs.

Part of me think that i’m just being a spoil kid by keep failing to feel comfortable living in there. But this bathroom problems is killing me. I don’t know who the architect was, but placing a “free plan”  shower room (just rows of showers without any cubical!! it’s okay for a spa, but not for a dwelling, please..) in the basement while the bedrooms on the 3rd and 4th floor is not a wise design. What we have on each of the 3rd and 4th floor is a toilet with washbasins and a shower outside the three cubicals, so whenever someone is taking a shower she’s taking over the whole cubicals because she has to lock the door. I mean, who designed this place?? Even my mother knows the importance of separating a shower area and a toilet area in a small bathroom, and this architect didn’t know it for a public housing?? And he expected people from 3rd to 4th floor to go down the stairs to take a shower in that vulgar shower room?? What architecture school did you go to, dear Mr./Mrs. architect?? Okay, maybe the landlord designed the building and he never went to architecture school. Hey, my father never went to any universities but he knows very well how to make a proper simple housing! He’s been also in this business for years, so growing up witnessing how my father tries to give proper dwellings for other people as a business make me familiar with this kind of thing. What matter in any accommodation or shelter or a house or an apartment or you-name-it-in-any-language is how the place and all its spaces accommodate at least the users’ very basic needs.

Back to my issue, aside from the lousy bathroom design, we actually could just lock the door. But there is this crazy old bitch -maybe more than one- who never wanted anyone to lock the door. They will bang on the door whenever there’s someone locking the door because she’s taking a shower. And the crazy woman will keep banging on the locked door and screaming in a broken English “DON’T LOCK THE DOOR!” even if it’s almost 12 at night. If only I never go to any university and get excellent education, I will probably shout at her face and say: “DON’T YOU EVER HEARD OF THE WORD ‘WAIT’ IF NOT ‘QUEUE’, BITCH?!”

Sorry, for my language, but saying bad things for once is tolerable, right? I’m only human anyway.

They actually have their argument: “It doesn’t make sense that someone who just wants to wash their face or brush their teeth or pee or poo has to wait for 10 to 15 minutes because someone is in the bathroom taking shower.” Well, there’s also an argument for this argument: “Well, there are still many toilets in each of the four level of floors downstairs if you are that urgent. And blame it on the architect if not the landlord for no-cubical shower and inefficient shower room downstairs.” And those crazy people think the best and cheapest solution to solve the problem is to take away the bathroom’s door handle. Oh my dear God, how could such primitive people still alive in this 21s century of a modern developed country, the Republic of Korea?

Too bad I don’t have enough energy left to write about the kitchen.

So anyhow, this problem is leaving me no option but to move out. But the problem is now I have to spend almost twice the price to get a better place to live at. Searching for a good goshiwon for a price below 300 thousand won is almost impossible around this Seoul CBD area. And I hate the fact that Dongguk Uni dorm is run by another private company so the rent is around 3 times of other university’s dorms.

Spending almost twice the price for accommodation means as much cut for meals. But I’m not sure if I really can do that..that’s the next problem. Oh, I’m so bad with money.

But a good living place will bring a good live and good foods will also bring a good life. So we must have good amount of money to have a good life. Haha. 😀 I hate this. Oh-this-is-a-never-ending-love-hate-of-money.


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