June has been a good one.
I feel like last year at this time we were already well into the worst of the dead summer heat. But as of Wednesday rainy season has officially began and I still feel like we haven’t gotten to the worst of the heat yet.
(Except that my school still doesn’t turn on the AC until it’s like 2 o’clock in the afternoon and 85 degrees INSIDE.)
(And except the few days that I wasn’t using my air conditioner. More on that to come.)
The beginning of the month was perfectly uneventful. At school we were mostly doing speaking tests and making sure that everyone had finished all the content from the book that they’d need for the final exam.
But then the weekend of the 16th I had what was probably the busiest weekend of my life.
Saturday morning I woke up and headed off to Daejeon Bokhap Terminal to meet up with some friends who were coming into town so we could all hang out for the day.
These friends are all people who I met while I was teaching at my university’s English language institute. One was my co-worker there, now also an EPIK teacher, and the other four were students who we all became really good friends with.
Two of them I hadn’t seen in about THREE YEARS but even so the immediate familiarity of people who know about places back home that are special to you is always incredibly refreshing.
We ate lunch, went bowling, went to a cafe, took some silly pictures, and then all of us headed our separate ways.
I then headed up to Seoul to meet up with some other friends who were doing a Hongdae weekend. I stayed in Mangwondong, my favorite neighborhood in Seoul, and saw these pretty little scenes while I was walking to my hostel as the sun was setting. Mangwon is the best, totally check it out.
I then went to meet up with my friends in Hongdae and we went to the COOLEST little place called Susie Q’s. It’s a tiny little record bar where you can request songs and just chill while listening to classic music. 10/10 would recommend.
We were in Hongdae until pretty late but then up again at a decent hour again the next morning to grab breakfast before we all had to part ways. Then I was off to the other side of Seoul, Gangnam area, where I have church, and then back again to the center where Seoul station is.
That evening my younger sister’s boyfriend had an overnight layover in Korea so we figured it out that he could come into Seoul Sunday night and I’d show him around before going back to Daejeon.
I originally took this picture in Seoul station to tell him where I was but it actually ended being kind of cool with the sun coming in the window.
I showed him around Hongdae again that night, because it felt like it was the best bang for our buck, and by “buck” I mean the roughly 3 hours that we had before I needed to leave.
We grabbed BBQ at my favorite place, watched the street performers, grabbed a drink, and talked for a while before my time to leave slowly crept up on us.
For the second time in two days it was lovely to see someone from back home. Always a breath of fresh air when you’re living abroad.
So we said goodbye and I grabbed my train back to Daejeon ready to be at work at 8:30 the next morning.
The next week or so was pretty uneventful until the beginning of the “AC Saga.”
I, as I imagine most people, have never spent too much time looking at the inside of my AC unit because I had no idea that there may even be cause to do so.
(It’s worth noting all the Koreans I have spoke to about this have been like, “Um duh of course you have to clean the inside of it.” But at least where I’m from the US we change a filter ever 6 months or something and that’s it. So if anyone else is unaware of this then maybe you can learn from my mistake.)
So one day when I was sitting at my desk I happened to look over and notice that the piece which opens and kinda of directs the air up and down had a bit of mold growing on the inside of it.
As someone whose anxiety is very intimately acquainted with irrational health scares I immediately looked up online how to clean one of these things and the answer I came up with was basically, pay someone else to do it.
So I called one of my Korean friends in a bit of a panic and asked if she could help me make an appointment with a company to come out and clean it.
The first place said they were booked for the next like five weeks or something but the second place said they could come out on Wednesday. Four days out from the time of booking.
So for four days I lived, in this incredibly humid 80/90 degree summer weather, without AC for fear of inhaling any more black mold then I already had.
It was brutal.
But eventually Wednesday rolled around and my friend, the angel that she is, came over to make sure everything went smoothly.
AND THANK THE LORD that I was panicked enough to make the reservation because immediately when he opened it he was basically like, “Yea this has never been cleaned before.” At which point I was about ready to text the guy who lived here before me and thank him for letting me live with a box full of black mold above my bed for the past year and a half.
I managed to restrain my self though, and watching him clean it was fascinating. It looked really difficult and the whole time he keeping saying to himself like, “Wow this is so bad” and “I’ve never seen a filter this dirty before.”
About an hour later it was done and I was breathing clean air again.
I’m very thankful that I called when I did, but I guess only time will tell if there are any long-term negative health effects waiting for me.
Anyway, to any of my readers living in Korea CHECK YOUR AC UNITS! (Cuz no one told me about it.)
Other notable points from this month include the return of the pretty trees by my school and bus stop. This little hill is as pretty in the summer as it is incredibly depressing in the winter.
And to end my June update I’ll leave you with these photos from the AMAZING sunset we had last night. I didn’t realize how much I missed pretty sunsets. Growing up on the coast of Florida meant that NOT seeing something like this everyday was cause for confusion. But here we don’t get a lot of them.
So when I got off the bus from the grocery store yesterday night and saw this I immediately ran up to my roof, bags of food and all, to take in the view before it slipped away.
I hope that June was good for you as well and I’ll see you in my next post! Thanks for reading!