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Our the middle of...

Another million other aparment blocks.

I didn't really notice it until I was out with D walking late one night - this being after two Korean teachers called us at 11pm to invite us out for drinks. It was a school night but we had read MANY TIMES that refusing an offer of invite is considered quite rude. Well, I'm not going to be RUDE am I? Even if I had already washed my face, brushed my teeth, gotten into bed and read my book, only pages away from la la land.

My Gemini spirit loves a bit of spontaneity once in awhile. And lets face it, I am coming from the land of drink.

So ANYWAY, we were walking back from a lovely evening of lemo soju (read VERY VERY STRONG ALCOHOL. Sipping is okay but shooting it back tends to make the test more bearable) and food (all of which we had NO IDEA how to order again as it was all in Korean so it was a bit of a tease to dangle in front of our faces only to have us realise that we will only ever be able to eat good food if we're out with Koreans)...

AS I was saying we were walking back to our house about 10 minutes away when we looked up.
All you could see across the night sky was high rise apartment buildings. It seems most of the buildings have 10 floors with two apartments on each floor.

They place the apartments around each other in a rectangle like formation, creating a central enclosed space in the middle which sometimes has a park or sitting area but also contains the entrance to the underground parking lot and the numerous containers they need for the garbage and recycling.

Most Koreans live in apartments. You could read any guide book that could tell you that I suppose but what you won't realise is the sheer number of people they can actually house.

When we walk to work, no one is really out because they are already at work. When we walk home, it does seem a bit busy but again, everyone has pretty much either gone home or they are still at work. But walk around at 11pm, you will see where all the people are. Playing the park, walking circuts around the block. It's like a nation of vampires, coming out when the sun goes down to avoid the heat (ahhhh...almost made it all the way through this entry without a weather reference)

So, with all these people, where are they going to live? In all of these buildings. It's facinating that the place doesn't not feel busy or claustrophobic. But now I can understand.

I have yet to count them but I bet we pass about 30 different apartment blocks on the way home. Each of these blocks must have about 40 different residences in them. Our walk is only 10 minutes. That is a lot of people to house. And successfully done.

Our unit is on the 10th floor so we have a spectacular view of the city and mountains from our back veranda (okay okay enclosed balcony/laundry room but work with me here). We also have a scenic mountain view from our front porch (again, enclosed balcony/air con/recycling area).

We have a large living room, THREE bedrooms and a smallish kitchen..with no stove so sadly no roast chicken on Sundays. We are very lucky as it was meant to be for 3 teachers, living single together. Now, it's just us.

I got used to only a little space when we lived in the UK, I have to say that I am spoiled now. But I can't imagine living with a family in this type of setting. No wonder they're out running laps or heading to the bar around 11pm, gets them out of the house.

And as many of the things I'm learning, I'm always surprised how quickly living a certain lifestyle can make so much sense. Why waste all that land on houses when you can offer green space to the entire community?


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