Pantry Days

Monday | September 3rd, 2012


Now that the bathroom is mostly completed (save for a few missing items), the attention is shifting to the next battleground state: the pantry. The tales of woe when purchasing wood and discussing how one goes about building a floor with easily accessible storage space underneath have already been disbursed and fought in an increasingly annoying three-way triangle of ‘I told you soes’ and ‘I’m not the dummy, you’re the dummy‘.

Originally, the pantry was my baby. I dreamed up building up the floor; Meow dreamed up using the underspace for storage. It was our plan, but my baby. I planned on spending my autumn drawing up the plans, taking measurements, and divining how much wood I would need exactly (much like I watched or helped my father do). Then Meow wanted some woodwork done on the wall to make it taller and more private. She was convinced that it would be simpler for another person, wood dude, who would be wooding up our wall, to also build our floor in the pantry. And thus, my baby was taken from me.

That’s one way of putting it. Given how my time and projects had been structured for the entirety of our marriage courtesy of The CEC, it’s no wonder that Meow wasn’t convinced that I could complete the project in a timely fashion. I think she also doubted that I knew anything about building a floor. (Just because I don’t have tools doesn’t mean I can’t build my own coffin.)

The pantry (above) was the former laundry room and it just screams at you, “I am a giant fucking waste of space!” Worse, now that I’ve had the doorway between the old bathroom and this room blocked up and cemented over, it now also screams, “I love oppressive projection!” It has no windows, no air vent, no personality. It looks more like a dungeon, a basement B3 dungeon, than any other room I’ve been in.

What it has going for it is pretty impressive by death-room standards. It has running water and a drain. It has hot and cold water. It has enough height to support our refrigerator and leave room for that coveted appliance indicator of supreme Korean wealth and property: the kimchi refrigerator.

With a floor about 30 cm high and some Millenium Falcon paneling, it will also enable it to become yet another cog in our vast smuggling operation. One day it will als be painted a more friendly color and not Abu Ghraib white.

The laundry room (above) and the pantry are a kind of brotherhood of hanok rooms. I can’t really seem to think about one without considering its relationship to the other. Maybe it’s got something to do with that wall we knocked through to connect them.

In one of those now Gyeongju renovator classic, “Doh!” moments, you look at the wall and see that they did us a solid by cementing over the thin plywood which was the wall above the cement wall (pictured here because that visual confuses me too), they left the holes in the brick.

At one time there were no add-ons to this hanok and same went for the neighbors and that was the back wall behind the house and that brick let you look through into the neighbor’s back yard. Then at some point everyone went add-on wild and all the hanoks got a little bigger. The walls were built up with wood, and the roofs of the hanok extended a little and voila: more rooms for the nanny, butler, and driver. Now we have an actual room and it still has the peep holes (providing I take a stick and whack out the wads of newspaper) into the lives of our neighbors.

Compare the doorway (above) to what we bought back in the beginning of August … I want to like it, but that paint job is all wrong for the space.

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