Day 156

Wednesday | August 1st, 2012


Up and early today. Things to do. Things to do. Places to go. People to smile at. Lots of following Meow. Stuff like that. Just closing the deal on a house, nothing unusual.

Meow warned me that she would leave at precisely 10.05, doubting, I think, that I had it in me to be ready by that time. At the realtor’s office, after I’d cracked my service drink of raspberry juice, Meow noticed she’d left without her stamp. Rounds of nervous laughter ensued. I made a big show of soft-slapping my hand on the table. It was going to be one of those things we’d laugh about in happiness years later, but for the moment, I didn’t think it was very funny.

Although, it was funny to watch Meow scurry out of the car (as we all went to the loan bank together) and up to our fourth floor flat to retrieve the stamp and run back downstairs. At the bank I got another service drink. This time it was concoction called Vita Chun Plus (비타천 플러스). While the two bankers were going over reams of paperwork or carefully applying stamps to documents, I wondered how the service drink business was, whether I could start my own brand, and what might be a good name for my drink.

I didn’t really get to dwell on it much as a bill was place in front of Meow for about 10,000,000 won ($8800). Then the bank said “sorry, wrong one” and put another one down for 2,400,000 won ($2100). This was the special tax for (as my dictionary told me) “property acquisition tax”. We knew this was coming, but thought we had 60 days to pay it AND that it would be about a fifth of what it was. ‘Yes, that was how it was a few years ago, everyone started saying’ and ‘The law just changed’ and the kicker ‘Now you have to pay today; no grace period’. The realtor apologized for forgetting to tell us and Meow excused herself from the table to find a parental life line.

We got our keys from the previous owner and everyone parted company. Meow and I had a miscommunication about when we had to pay the property acquisition tax (I heard two days, but she said today). After we sorted that, we spent the next hour going to KEB (my bank), IBK (Meow’s bank), KB (our bank), and finally back to Express Bank (the loan bank) to go through more paperwork, stamping, and to pay the tax. At KB, the parental life line came through so all the scrounging and breaking out of our personal stockpiles of cash was no longer needed and a lot of the pressure was off.

When that was all tucked away, we went back home and roped up the dogs for a midday scorcher walk over to our new house. They both had these super goofy looks on their faces like they were living a dream of going to the park during the daytime (we usually go at night because it’s cooler and there is less trouble for Twitchy to get into).

The new house is a short walk from our current flat and it’s even a little closer to my work (above; the green circle is the flat, the pin the house).

We got to our gate, the first of the three keys I picked up off the table at the bank worked and we were in our courtyard. It was pretty surreal. The dogs ran around tentatively for awhile, but they keep whining (Twitchy especially) like the stupid humans were spending too much time at this not-park. I took off their harnesses and removed Twitchy’s collar and that relaxed them a lot and they seemed to get it. Meow ordered some food, we talked a little about what should go where and what needed to be fixed. Mostly we just sat in the courtyard dumbfounded.

Later our first visitor came by, LG. He brought cake to celebrate getting the house and Meow’s birthday. By then I had some kind of head cold working through my system, but the magic of the day wasn’t lost.

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