House Hunting, International-Style
|MsCaroline's toes in front of the private plunge pool in her bungalow in Ubud, which she will totally tell you about later when she is sane again.|
MsCaroline is totally aware that this post was supposed to be the final installment in her series of posts about Spring Break in Bali, but something has come up.
House hunting. Or rather, apartment hunting. In Seoul. As foreigners.
|Like so many other things, watching this show is about a million times more fun than doing it in real life.|
Those of you who have been reading since the inception of this blog (Hi, Mum!) may recall that the Asia Vu family initially signed on for a 2-year stint in Seoul, with the possibility of renewing our contract.
Believe it or not, the 2-year mark is fast approaching.
The last few months have been fraught with uncertainty and a certain amount of stress as MsCaroline and MrLogical have grappled with the many variables involved in the decision-making process: finances (always a major player,) Son#2's education (he's halfway through high school,) distance from family and friends (heart-wrenching,) custody and care of the Yellow Dog, renters for the house in the US, MrL's job location (changed from a 15-minute commute to a 2-hour one each way,) MsCaroline's job location. The point is, it
In keeping with their disparate personality types, MrL and MsC have handled this stress in their own unique ways. MrL, by gathering information and acting on it in a rational and logical manner, and MsC by swinging wildly between euphoria and despair
It has been, to say the least, an interesting time
Since their arrival, the Asia Vus have lived in very typical dwelling in Korea: The high-rise apartment building. They have spent the last 2 years learning how to live a 1200-sq.-ft.(111.48 meters) lifestyle; a no-yardwork lifestyle with a lovely view of the Seoul Tower. They have embraced elevators, parking garages, garbage chutes, anonymous neighbors, and underbed storage with zest and enthusiasm, and thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of a hermetically-sealed 14th-floor view of Seoul.
But now, that time must come to an end. Partly because 1200 feet with minimal storage- while compact and charming - is getting old. Partly because most of the AsiaVu's friends live in a different part of the city and they are tired of being the ones who are always desperately fighting for a cab at 1am. Partly because the rent in their apartment will soon be higher than they wish to pay. And most of all, because MrL and MsC have missed, more than anything, having an Outside. Not an actual yard, of course: let's be realists here - MrL, is, after all, not the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company (yet.) But a Space Outdoors. A patio, perhaps, or (on a ground floor) a small deck with a scrap of a garden and maybe even a shrub or two.
MrL and MsC have even been fantasizing about grilling.
So, they are leaving behind the glittering splendor of the high-rise, and heading out to a section of town where the international community congregates in low-rise (6 stories or fewer) apartment buildings referred to as 'villas.' The primary advantage of villas is that one gets more space for less money, and - almost without exception - can expect some sort of an Outside: a patio, a balcony, a deck, a micro-garden. And all of this for only about 4 to 5 times the price of the mortgage on their Texas-sized suburban tract home back in the US. Plus utilities, of course.
Naturally, as with every other real estate transaction in the history of the world, overshadowing this entire exercise is the painful process of aligning one's
So, what it comes down to is this: if a
They've begun the hunt (which in Korea is a different kettle of fish altogether,) which MsC will share with her readers once things are settled one way or another and she regains some perspective and her sense of humor.
In the meantime, she is baking.