Daniel’s sweet new apartment in Bundang

Today makes 12 days  in Korea but with all the excitement of moving into and furnishing an apartment, starting a new job, and a small panic over a frozen debit card, it feels like it’s been much longer. I’ll try and get up a post about my new job – and maybe one about the debit card panic – by the end of the week, but I’d really like to show off the apartment first.  Especially since I’ve been neglecting my loyal readers and Facebook friends alike.  Yes, I know you’re basically the same people.

Let me begin by saying I didn’t expect much of a living space. I imagined a single, linoleum-floored room with a stove, cupboards and fridge in one corner and a bathroom in another corner. (Cue the Murphy bed for added effect.) Anything adding to this scene would be a welcome luxury.

I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped into a well apportioned, modern apartment that puts to shame every other dwelling of my adult life. Yes, it’s small – I don’t have a tape measure but it’s definitely less than 400 square feet – but I’d argue that American expectations of square footage are out of touch with the way most other people live. The place is designed to maximize space and doesn’t feel cramped at all. However, I’m most impressed by some of the features and gadgets that came with it.

First, there’s the door lock. I don’t need keys to enter because there’s an electronic keypad — I just enter a code to unlock the door. Inside the door is a small tiled area for people to remove their shoes. Koreans never wear shoes indoors. If I come home at night, a motion sensor above the tiled area switches on a light as I open the door.

When friends come to visit, rather than knocking or ringing a doorbell — how 20th Century — they activate a small PA system with a camera. From my armchair I can look up and see who it is on a wall-mounted screen. (I’m still trying to figure out if it will unlock the door electronically.) It seems needlessly complex, but it’s interesting to think that the technology is widespread to the point of being installed in an entire apartment building. The remote controlled A/C unit is another needlessly complex device.

Forget linoleum, the floors are hardwood throughout, except in the bathroom where both the floor and walls are tiled. I’m told this is for simple cleaning. I just have to grab the hand-held shower and spray down the entire room. All water flows down a drain under the wash basin.

As for space-saving features, the main hallway is closeted on both sides and then doubles as the kitchen while the washing machine also dries clothes. Oh, I almost forgot the giant sliding doors to the bedroom.

The apartment is located smack in the middle of everything. When I leave the building, I emerge onto a bustling city street in the Migeum district of Bundang, loaded with bars, shops and restaurants. The view at night is really cool, as all the neon signs and banners are lit up and people are out having good times. The other great thing about night time is the giant red swastika directly across from my window doesn’t light up at night.

Aside from the daily reminder of European fascism, one of the more annoying things here is the guy who drives around with loudspeakers on his car, chanting the same phrases rhythmically over and over and over. I asked someone what this was about and was told he’s probably a Christians, doing his best to guilt-trip as many people as possible into repentance. Thank God I can’t understand anything the guy says. I don’t need any guilt-trippin’ to ruin this sweet apartment.

Click the thumbnail image below to see all of my apartment pictures. I tried to be slick and embed a slideshow, but WordPress didn’t seem to like the code.


-Daniel Daugherty



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8 responses to “Daniel’s sweet new apartment in Bundang

  1. mom

    Great place! Make sure you keep it neat, and clean it!! It only looks good if it is clean!

    Why is your bed in the living room, and is everything made out of bamboo? the floors, the door frames? I am thinking about putting bamboo floors on my kitchen floor. Remember I told you about that?

  2. Jennifer

    Many times the guy on the loud speaker is selling goods in the back of his truck. Listen closely b.c you’ll probably hear… Com-pu-tah (computer) .. Dal-qui (Strawberries), Ba-nan-nah (bananas… etc. Usually vegetables and fruits. Sometimes even socks hehe

  3. Lindsay

    Daniel, it’s NOT a swastika!! Ask the locals what it means. I can’t remember, but it’s everywhere in SK. They love all the gadgets and have way cooler stuff than we have!! Electronics are way cheaper there, as are designer clothes, purses, etc. I have pics of a guy with a loudspeaker reading the Bible in his hand with a huge posterboard over his head with Korean and “Engrish” writing basically saying we’re all going to hell. I saw a few of those in downtown Seoul. I can probably hook you up with my friend Jay who is Korean and worked with the US Army some if you want. He lives near Seoul. He’s super nice and best of all knows English! I’m sure he would show you around. How do you like the food?? I miss it!! But I found a place here in Charleston that has good Korean food. The best is the pork that you grill yourself and wrap in lettuce with lots of sides. Have fun!! I’m jealous!!


  4. Jennifer

    Tejpreet Singh… the guy you want to meet in Korea. Most awesome person I have ever met! Many, many others can vouch for that statement. He lives in Suwon… I gave him your name to look you up on FB. He’s been in Korea for years, knows the language, has the hook ups and is just an awesome friend to have.

  5. julie pace

    wow…the apartment is awesome….what is up with the swastika? …..lol you are so funny Daniel about the guy that drives around with the loudspeakers. I know Jen is patiently waiting for the big trip and I’m glad you are doing such a great job getting settled in and getting connections……does Jan Belleme know anything about your blog? (she always asks about you)….

  6. don

    I hate the remote controlled A/C units too… Had them in Ireland and Africa. The apex of becoming lazy…
    About time you let me know there was a blog, you slacker…!
    You need to keep some emergency cash in your wallet, tucked away for when your card gets shut off. It happens to me about once every sixty days here in Saudi. I shop at the same store every week and then one day I am suddenly suspiciously shut off and thought of as a criminal by the darn bank..!! Idiots at CITI Bank.. all idiots..!
    What ever you do, do not get saved by a Korean christian carrying a loud speaker.! Sounds like a set up for Mr Bean, or Benny Hill. Plus your mother will be upset it was not her that got to you.
    How is the job? What are the schools like, etc..?
    I will come eat stir fried dog with you in December.

  7. don

    The swastika symbol dates back to ancient Buddhism. It was derived from a circle representing the Earth. Four lines were drawn in the circle to represent the directions north, south, east and west. The fields within the lines came to represent the seasons. If the arms of the swastika are rotating clockwise, it is good fortune, and counterclockwise is bad fortune.
    Buddhist monks put these symbols on their chest, palms and soles of their feet.
    Think of it as a Korean four leafed clover..!

  8. Pingback: Our Apartment « TEFL Or Bust

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