|Ordinarily, you would see Namsan Tower on top of the mountain behind those buildings, but the mist has obscured everything.|
So, this is the view out of our living room window, and - if the weather report is to be believed - it will continue to be for at least the next week, and - possibly - most of the summer. For those of you reading from London or Oregon or Seattle who are rolling your eyes and scoffing at my reaction to a little unceasing rain, please remember that, where I came from, rain was an actual event. It was hoped for, prayed for, talked about, celebrated, and discussed extensively in every possible location, from school events to cocktail parties to FaceBook.
All of that has changed now, and, coupled with the fact that we do not yet have our car (which is still merrily bobbing along in the Pacific as we speak,) the rain has led to some adjustments on our part, by which I mean, the boys and I aren't going out much. Of course, Mr. Logical has to go to work every day, which - traveling as he does, by subway and bus - I gather is no picnic. In fact, I use the 'taxi indicator' to calculate the weather for the day: if Mr. Logical takes a cab instead of the subway, you know the rain's really coming down.
Keep in mind that Seoulites hardly seem to even notice the rain. They just continue about their business - carrying umbrellas, of course - apparently taking no more notice of the driving rain, flooded streets and overflowing sewers than I normally did of Texas Longhorn T-shirts, taquerias, and road-kill armadillos. I guess it's just part of their cultural construct.
Oh, we still go out, but we are more selective about when and where, and it's not nearly as often.
Of course, staying in has not been a picnic either, because, as you all may recall, we still do not have our furniture and are therefore all very crabby, especially Mr. Logical and I, who have been sharing an air mattress designed for camping and which is clearly not intended for long-term use by individuals who are in their 40s.
However, as the veteran of a number of major moves, the one thing I have learned is that Attitude Makes All The Difference. So, instead of sinking into a puddle of self-pity or diving into the bottom drawer of my kimchi fridge, I have decided to turn things around and instead focus on all of the positives that one can derive from living for weeks in an apartment with virtually no furniture and/or most of your personal belongings. So, without further ado, I give you:
My Top Ten List of Reasons that it's Great to Have Almost No Furniture or Household Effects:
10.No dusting. Need I say more?
9. Easy to vacuum. No need to shift heavy furniture around or bend to get under things. And you can easily move the partially-deflated air mattress the children have been using as a 'couch' with a swift kick (not while they're on it, obviously.)
8. No need to make excuses for the state of things when people come in. You're living like a hobo. What do they expect?
7. Gives you a chance to reflect on what you truly need to live comfortably and your ongoing attempts to simplify (to be honest, I have not been thinking that in the least, but it seems like something I really should be thinking, so I'll put it in and maybe I will start thinking that way.)
6. Things are easier to find. No more digging through dark dresser drawers to find your clothes. They are all within easy reach in a convenient (if unstable) pile on the lone two shelves in your closet.
5. Excellent acoustics. No furniture or carpeting makes for excellent echoes and powerful reverb. Every whisper becomes a shout; no more straining those vocal cords!
4. Paperwork is kept to a minimum. Lack of desk/ printer/ file cabinets/office supplies means you can continue to put off all that pesky bill-paying and record-keeping with a clear conscience.
3. More Free Time. No belongings to dust, clean, or put away means you have more free time to take in the sights of your fabulous new city - once, of course, you get better at getting around in the rain without getting yourself drenched within seconds of leaving the building.
2. A Deeper Awareness of How Fortunate You Are. Children now have new and greater appreciation for such mundane items as desks, chairs, and mattresses, which can be used as powerful leverage in future.
And now, the #1 Reason it's Great to Have Almost No Furniture or Household Effects:
You Become More Resourceful: Lack of everyday items you are used to having at your disposal, such as, say, a common language, or lamps, or kitchen implements (like your whisks and cheese grater dammit), causes you to plumb the depths of your creativity and think in new and different ways, realizing that you can handle just about any situation successfully.
So there you have it. There really are plenty of positives about this whole no-furniture situation. I've cheered myself up so much that I think we'll brave the weather and head to the National Museum of Korea. Perfect for a rainy day.