Monday, March 09, 2009

Two rooms with a vista!

On Saturday we moved out of our room and into a one-bedroom apartment (read: one bedroom and one living room) in the building next door. It was a recent and rapid development that came about thanks to our resourceful and wealthy landlord who owns several buildings in the area. He came to our place unannounced on Wednesday to show us the place, which we both took to immediately, even though it's not much bigger, mainly because of the fact that it has more than one door (actual door count: 6). It's also on the fourth floor so it's much more secure (you're welcome Mom!) and has lots of windows with a nice view over Pohang. We'll post some pics soon.

On moving day our landlord hired (we paid) a couple of strongmen to hoist all of our stuff up four flights to our new place, which was nice for Lisa and me. We strolled up to the apartment and started unpacking and arranging stuff. Later our landlord came by with a friend of his to make sure everything was OK. Neither of them spoke more than halting English, so a lot of hand gestures and awkward silences followed. At some point, though, and I forget the exact dialogue that transpired here, I said something to the landlord's friend that may have warranted a "thank you."

"Muchas gracias." He said.
"Oh, hablas espanol?" I asked jokingly.

We had a nice, very surreal conversation in Spanish - albeit often halting and broken on both sides - about his career as a fishing boat captain that ferried octopus between South America (Argentina, Peru) and Korea. He spent 16 years aboard a ship, 10 years as a captain (captain at 29 years old!), and now builds apartment buildings for a living. He was a really nice guy, and equally as surprised as I to meet another Spanish speaker in Korea.

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