Sunday, November 17, 2013

Good things and bad things. But the good is REALLY GOOD.

Well everyone, I'm three months in to my adventure here in the Republic of Korea. What a whirlwind it has been! This weekend included a lot of ups and downs. Well really, one big up and one big down.

Saturday morning I was hanging out, Skyping Andrea, Liz and Casey, and we had a great time. I was so happy to see them and chat, even though it made me miss home and everyone a bit. I was cozy and warm, with my ondol heating the floor nicely. I turned it off for a bit because I was toasty. Fast forward about an hour or so, when I want to take a shower. I hit the button for the water heater and proceed to the bathroom like normal. But then I notice that the water is not getting warm. In fact, it's ICE COLD. So I go look at the heater panel and lo and behold, a yellow light is flashing.

After lots of pressing buttons, googling and messing around with the boiler, I succeeded only in making myself super frustrated and nothing else. Since I was going out in the afternoon, I took an ice shower (fastest shower ever) and huddled under the blankets till it was time to go. Lauren and I went to a short film festival in one of the richer areas of town and had an excellent time. Though the American film was by far the worst. WAMP.

So I returned home to my frigid apartment, hoping it would all be a dream. NOPE. No heat, no hot water. I bundled up and went to bed. The next day, I fared no better. I made progress in problem solving, but alas, the problem was not solved. So thankfully Sarah lives close, so Lauren (who was planning to come to my apartment to watch the Hunger Games) and I went over to Sarah's instead, where we spent the evening making stupid remarks and jokes, eating pizza, watching a movie, making movies for Lauren's English class, and just having a great time.

It was really helpful to me because I have been struggling a little with personal life stuff while here. My work life is great and my social life is great, I'm seeing awesome, amazing things I would never have thought I would see in my life. But at home, things keep going wrong. My phone, my internet, now my heat just as we are hitting winter. I had trouble with my heat in the beginning of the year, but when it was 90 degrees anyway, an ice bath was welcome. In November, when the lows are starting to get pretty low, it's not quite as fun. it's just like, as soon as one things gets fixed, the next thing goes wrong. I'm waiting for all my lights to burn out or something next.  I actually had to boil water yesterday and mix it with some cold to get a good water temperature so I could wash my hair.  I've dealt with this exact problem before (see February in London, but it's harder to deal with it on my own, especially when there are instructions on how to fix it on the boiler. Which I can't read. Don't worry though, I have plenty of people at school to help and great friends who will invite me over the second they hear I'm having trouble, so I'm really thankful for that.

But the good news outweighs it all! Maybe the universe didn't want me to be TOO happy! Late Saturday night, I found out some amazing news. I was surfing the net when I saw someone post something about a cast change in the Phantom of the Opera World Tour (which I was disappointed to remember came through Seoul in 2012), and they mentioned Daegu. My eyes reread it a couple of times, and my brain said "Daegu.... Daegu... THAT'S IN KOREA!" Which it totally is. The Phantom of the Opera World Tour is coming to South Korea!!!!

Actually, earlier that morning I had been thinking about how much I wanted to see it again. So, it starts February 27th in Daegu, and I will definitely be going! Even more exciting is the fact that the man who is playing the Phantom is Brad Little, the SAME man who was playing the title character when I saw it for the first time in Buffalo, back in 2003. If THAT isn't the universe telling me to go, I don't know what is!!

So basically, even though my apartment is cold right now and I'm a bit miffed that another device has betrayed me, I have good friends to help me through and an amazing show to see in a few months. It's definitely not the worst that could happen!

Also, I heard the Bills finally won and the Sabres are looking a little better, so huzzah to that! I hope everyone is staying warm (unlike me!) and that things are going well for you all! Ciao for now!

EDIT: Heat and hot water got fixed last night. I came home to my landlady and a repairman trying to dry up a bunch of water in my kitchen, so I think something legit was messed up with it. Oh well. Doesn't matter. Fixed now and I had a hot shower and a warm apartment yesterday, so I AM HAPPY. EXTRA HAPPY.


  1. If it was the middle yellow lights from this picture - that was blinking, then you need to add water into the boiler following the instruction printed in the front of the boiler. At least that's what written on that panel.

    1. It's exactly that! But unfortunately I can't read the Korean well, and I have been trying everything based on my loose translation of the instructions, and nothing has happened. So either I'm doing it wrong or something worse is wrong with it :(

    2. I figured the instruction printed on the front of the boiler - if it's there to begin with - would also be in Korean but hey one step at a time... I have to say if I'm getting only cold water, filling up some part of the boiler with water is not the first thing that would come to my mind. Maybe something's wrong with sensor/thermostat/relay or maybe some problem with the ignition. But I guess it must not be uncommon since the control panel has the specific warning light and the "fill up with water" explanation built into it. If you still have only cold water and can take a clear enough picture of the how to fill up with water instruction, I would be happy to help out a fellow phan.

  2. You're only a bit "miffed" about losing heat?! I would've gone with a bit peeved :)