My Apartment in Gimpo, South Korea

Last year in Korea I had a couples apartment, you can check that out here. But, this time around I would be living on my own in Gimpo, South Korea. So…I would say that my apartment is overall more typical of an ESL teacher’s apartment in Korea. It’s called a one room and is kind of like a studio apartment only it has some glass sliding doors to separate different areas.

Even though I was sent pictures of my apartment before hand, I was sent pictures of an empty apartment and didn’t really have a full grasp on what I would be calling home for the 16 month contract I signed. But, I knew the area was nice and the apartment was dog friendly so I really wasn’t going to be too picky. Overall, I would say my apartment is small, but it really does function perfectly for me and meets all of my needs…with the exception of a dryer…but most Korean apartments don’t come with dryers.

Here is a little blueprint I drew out to maybe help understand the layout of the apartment:

Blueprint of my place

Blueprint of my place…extra fridge was finally removed and replaced with Aurora’s bed

And some pics of the apartment:

From the front door, you walk into a small entrance, straight ahead is the kitchen and then bathroom at the end

From the front door, you walk into a small entrance, straight ahead is the kitchen and then bathroom at the end

A look at the kitchen, galley style, has more space then I originally thought and I find that I can cook quite easily

A look at the kitchen, galley style, has more space than I originally thought and I find that I can cook without being too cramped for space

Main living room....right portion of the room has Aurora's bed, TV stand/storage and the bed

Main living room….right portion of the room has Aurora’s bed, TV stand/storage and the bed

Left side of the main room has dresser, mirror, scale....

Left side of the main room has dresser, mirror, scale….

Table/office area

Table/office area

A look at the right side of the room from another angle

A look at the right side of the room from another angle

Right side of the patio is pretty much storage

Right side of the patio is pretty much storage

Left side of the patio is where the washer is

Left side of the patio is where the washer is

With anything there are definitely pros and cons but I have to say I am pretty happy with my living arrangement. I think this apartment is definitely suited for 1 person and 1 dog max. Whenever people come over and stay, it’s definitely a tight fit. I do appreciate that the kitchen is separate from the main living area and can be closed off with a sliding door, this makes it so whatever I cook doesn’t get the smell all over my bed or closet area. Also, I like that my patio is pretty large it means I can use it as a laundry room and it serves as a huge storage area as well. I have gotten a couple months worth of bills and I think overall my bills for the apartment will be around or less than ₩100,00 (less than $100) each month. This has been around the cost during the winter time and when I compare that to my last year in Korea I found that overall bills are more expensive during winter. My place also came with a TV which is kind of a negative since I now find myself watching TV…but at least I can pretend I’m studying Korean while I watch Adventure Time in Korean.

The building that I live in is a small 4 story building with 9 apartments total in the building. I live on the second floor and the first floor of the building is actually a bar. Initially I was scared of living on top of a bar but I have found that the particular bar I live on top of is pretty quiet and since I don’t live directly above the bar I really don’t notice too much excess noise. In comparison with someone who would live in a large high rise apartment building I find that my bills are a little lower however my apartment isn’t temperature regulated. Larger apartment buildings will heat in the winter and cool in the summer, hence the extra cost.

I would have to say the biggest thing that I don’t like about my apartment would be neighborhood complaints that really have nothing to do with the apartment itself. Across from my apartment is a restaurant that serves dog meat soup and for the first month after moving in I basically ignored that entire portion of the neighborhood because I refused to acknowledge its presence. I have since come to terms with its existence and walk by it everyday on my way to and from work. The second complaint I have would be that since my area is new and developing there is construction going on…sometimes at 7:30 am (even on Sundays)…but I have been getting better about sleeping through the noise.

If you had asked me before I had ever lived in Korea I would say that having a wet bathroom would have been a complete deal breaker. One of the reasons Josh and I took our last job was because it had a shower tub. But, after staying in friends’ apartments throughout our first year in Korea and conquering the wet room shower I have to say I really don’t mind it at all now. Our first apartment had a great shower tub…but in the winter time the water heater didn’t fully heat the water and you would get a warm shower at best. So for me it’s much more important to have a hot shower than to have a bathtub.

Looking in the bathroom from the kitchen area

Looking in the bathroom from the kitchen area

Overview of my tiny bathroom, the shower nozzle is attached to the sink. It's small for sure but has everything that is necessary and its a plus that I'm small!

Overview of my tiny bathroom, the shower nozzle is attached to the sink. It’s small for sure but has everything that is necessary and its a plus that I’m small!

I really love the location of where I live, I’m right next to a beautiful park which is ideal for when Aurora comes to stay with me. I’m also walking distance from stores and restaurants which makes shopping for everyday items easy even without a car. I don’t think I could have made this transition so well my first year in Korea but I changed my life style quite a bit in the last year and have been making an effort to live with less stuff. Anyways, I love my place and will enjoy calling it home until the end of this contract.

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