Day 463

Tuesday | June 4th, 2013


Today is Friday. Tomorrow is Saturday, the next Sunday, then it’s Friday again, followed by another Saturday and Sunday. It’s bizarre and Meow is jealous every time she asks what I’m doing tomorrow and I reply with this. I’m making up for all the lost evenings and Saturdays and the Sundays that fell victim to sleep while I worked at the CEC. There is a lot to make up for and a few more years to go on like this until it all feels sort of balanced out again.

The hanok across the street is empty (hero image, top), or so I thought. Meow told me today that only the landowner remains and is there, alone. The quietness is a bit creepy. I was used to one of the tenants firing up his motorcycle all the time and returning home at 02.00 every night. He also smoked outside our gate and would throw his butts on the ground where a little puggy-wuggy would catch a sniff of them and whimper and cry and frantically swipe his paws in the small gap trying to get the butts. Occasionally he’d get a few and eat them and get totally cracked out for the rest of the day.

Noisy people move out is good, but I’m somewhat noisy myself (within reason). We are worried that the landowner will sell and then a construction company will show up and tear down his hanok and build something which kills our light and view. That would really, really suck. Meow is fairly certain that any construction on the property can only go two stories, but even that would really change how much light we get in our courtyard. Right now, we get everything from sunrise to mid afternoon.

I also think the last thing Gyeongju needs now, or ever, is to have another hanok torn down and replaced with an ugly villa with car parking underneath. Korea should move to protect its remaining hanoks, and by protect, I don’t mean force everyone to pay $8,000 a square meter to restore everything to its pristine condition, I mean people shouldn’t be allowed to tear out one type of building and replace it with something other. No more hanoks sacrificed for villas or apts. If a hanok is being torn down then whatever it’s replaced with should be required to have the same amount of open space and light space. Koreans, and people in general, are happier when they have both. Villas and apts steal both from everything around them, more so the lower (physically) that you live in those buildings.


(Above) Naughty inspects our new outside toilet to replace the damage done over the winter. Now, when I have friends come or they stop by, I don’t have to rouse Meow from her nap and my friends don’t have to crawl through an awkward series of doors to pee. And there are those times when I also don’t have the saving capacity to disarm the security system and go through those four doors myself, the one of which is a bladder squishier as one bends over to crawl inside and find the toilet.

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