My landlord thinks I’m certifiable

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having a little trouble with my hot water.  As a reminder, here is a picture of the control box:

The main problem is that I can’t read the controls and attempts to translate them with my dictionary have led to more confusion.  One possible translation came up as something to do with rat convulsions.  Not terribly helpful.

The problem is that my hot water isn’t consistently available; I can only seem to get hot water when I don’t need it.  Even when it is hot, it never lasts more than a minute and I end up having a tepid shower.  Not so fun when the temperature in my bathroom hovers between 6-10 degrees Celsius!

Almost every day this month, I have mentioned at school that I have trouble with my hot water but either I wasn’t understood or they thought I was joking.

This week I decided to be a little passive aggressive in my attempts to get help.  Every class I asked the students what they hoped Santa would bring them.  (I love how kids’ minds work.  One kid wanted Santa to bring her America.)  Then they would ask me.  Every time I would say: “I really hope Santa brings me hot water in my apartment.”

Friday afternoon, my co-teacher called my landlord.

The landlord called back later to say someone would come between 3 and 4pm on Christmas Eve to look at my boiler.  Fabulous!  I went to sleep with visions of hot water dancing in my head.

This morning I woke up to discover I had hot water.  Knowing full well it wouldn’t last very long, I jumped in the shower.  Just as I reached for the shampoo, the doorbell rang.  I thought about ignoring it until I heard my code being entered (I don’t have a key for my apartment, I have a key pad.  Sort of like a bank machine.)  I knew it was my landlord so I turned the water off and grabbed a towel.

I made it to the front door as he was taking his shoes off.  He didn’t even bat an eyelid to see me standing there in nothing but a towel, rivulets of water running down my face.

“Hello!” he greeted me cheerfully in a very loud voice.  (He’s a lovely older gentleman, perhaps 70-75 years old.  He is also one of those people who think that if they speak really loudly I might understand what he’s saying.)

Inviting himself in, he headed for the kitchen sink and turned the tap on.

“The water is hot!” he declared, looking at me accusingly.

“I know, that’s why I’m taking a shower!” I told him, even though I knew he didn’t understand.

He strode past me to look at the boiler.  I tried to discretely rearrange my towel so it covered more.  Thankfully I was wrapped in a fluffy North American towel, not the thin hand towels the Koreans are so fond of.  Even still, the essentials were barely covered.

As the puddle around my feet grew larger and my goosebumps multiplied, my landlord tested the water in the various locations in my apartment.   Every time he discovered hot water, he would turn and glower at me.  I thought about trying to clarify the problem but any explanation I could think of involved a lot of hand gestures and I wasn’t sure my towel would stay on if I let go.

Once he had established that I did in fact have hot water, he sighed heavily, looked at me strangely and gave me some rice cake.

“Water, OK!” he told me, giving me the thumbs up on his way out.

Sighing, I dried my floor and got back into the shower where unsurprisingly, the water was now stone cold. Sigh.

Still, it’s Christmas Eve so I can’t be too glum.  I have Christmas lights:

They look like a university boy’s idea of mood lighting but I don’t mind.

I also have a Christmas tree:

And I got a Christmas card from the teachers in my teachers’s class full of all sorts of lovely and somewhat confusing sentiments:


Maybe Santa will bring them a better English teacher! 😀

Last night, these two lovely teachers from my school and I went out for a pre-Christmas celebratory dinner.  We went to a tofu restaurant.

The food was AMAZING.

Fresh tofu.

Sesame, mushroom and tofu stew.  Delicious!!

And to wash it all down, rice water.  Not very tasty but it was hot so I didn’t complain. 😀

I hope everyone has a very happy, healthy and warm Christmas!!! 😀


About Carrie K

Teacher, writer, traveller. Slightly neurotic. Overly talkative. Loving life. You can also follow me on Twitter: kimchigirl72
This entry was posted in Education, food, Korea, Korean schools, Taehwa, Teachers, teaching in Korea, Travel, Ulsan, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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