Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you think everything’s okay.
It’s Sunday night, and a couple of days ago I thought I would be panicking trying to make sure everything was ready for the movers to come in the morning. Long story short, there have been some delays in getting my visa issuance information from the Korean government (is anyone surprised?) and it will take some time before I am able to go to the consulate in Houston and officially apply for my work visa. The administrative assistant at the office in Korea is hopeful that the information will come through this week, but she also submitted another visa request on October 7 that still hasn’t been fulfilled yet.
So, while we wait (living day to day is really difficult!) I will give you a glimpse of what life has been like. By request, The Carpet Story.
We got an email from our housing contact in Korea that the landlord of our apartment was apparently nervous about our having dogs. To the tune of $6,000,000 – I mean 6 million Korean won, or $6,000. The landlord wanted us to agree to pay to replace the wood floors in our Korean apartment after we move out. This is our first direct indication that Koreans are uncomfortable with large dogs (we have heard all about this from others living there now). Perhaps they think we are bringing something like a bear to live with us?
In any case, the situation was sorted out and an agreement between the landlord and our corporate housing person was made so that we won’t have to worry about floor damage, but we were still a little uneasy and decided to seek out some large carpets to protect the flooring a little. We ventured to a local carpet wholesaler that was able to sell us some carpet remnants and bind the edges to make them into area rugs for us. We had expected to pick them up on Thursday. I am still working at the office every day until we leave, but luckily J has had the flexibility to work from home while we are in transition so he can handle the fun situations like this.
J: Just calling to see if our carpet would be ready to pick up today?
Carpet store: Oh, um, no, the binders have not come this week yet and we are not sure when they are going to come this week.
J: Hmm, well, I was told they would be ready for pickup today, and I have movers coming to my house on Monday, and I need these carpets by then.
Carpet store: Well, um, I guess I can check to see when the binders will come.
J: …Ok, let me know.
J: Hello again, I was calling to check on the status of my carpets?
Carpet store: Oh, um, we are still not sure when the binders will be here yet.
J: …Ok, well please let me know when you find out. I need these carpets by Monday.
The next day…
J: Hello, I called yesterday to ask about my carpets… are the binders going to come in to finish the carpets?
Carpet store: Sir, the binders should be coming this afternoon and the carpet will be ready by closing.
One hour later…
Carpet store: Sir, I am sorry to tell you we opened the roll of carpet you chose and found black spots on it. We tried to clean the carpet but it wouldn’t come out.
Carpet store: Well, you can come down to the warehouse and pick out a new piece if you like.
J: No, I don’t have time for that, I’m in the middle of an international move.
Carpet store: Ok, I guess we can cut you a new piece of that carpet and sell it to you for the same price.
30 minutes later…
Different carpet store person: Sir? I just wanted to let you know about an issue we have with your carpet.
Carpet store: The piece you picked has some black spots on it and we couldn’t get them out.
J: Yes, I know.
Carpet store: Well the new piece we cut is actually smaller than the original one you had chosen.
J: Hmm, ok, how much smaller? Are you going to pro-rate the cost since it’s less carpet?
Carpet store: No.
J: That doesn’t make sense, the carpet is smaller than the one I bought.
Carpet store: Ok, how about we take $50 off the price?
J: Sure. (Ha!)
Carpet store: Ok, it should be ready for pick up by closing today. Thanks.
Thankfully, some helpful friends let us borrow their pickup truck so we could avoid delivery costs, and we finally picked up our carpet:
If the dogs damage the floor, I don’t know what we are going to do.
Let’s hope we can have another Korenglish conversation with the airline sometime this week to finally get ourselves and the dogs booked on a flight to Seoul! Crossing our fingers for good news.