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Day 7: New Roommate

So you know how I said that not a lot happened yesterday...? Well at the time of writing it, that was true, but then I posted my blog and went up to the tenth floor to my room, and that statement suddenly wasn’t true anymore.

I walked out of the newly fixed elevator and immediately saw that my door was wide open. Inside there were two girls standing over my roommate’s desk, emptying out the closet above the desk with a swipe of their arms that made everything fall out and down on the desk and bed.

I cautiously approached and asked in both Korean and in English: “are you my roommate?”

A blonde Asian responded with a smile and said: “I am, but I want to move rooms.”

She explained that her friend, the other girl, was living next door and they wanted to move in together. The Spanish girl who also lived in the room next door, and whom I’ve met a few times and who is indeed very nice, had already agreed to let them move in together.

I nodded at that and then I said: “Well I’m going to move rooms on Monday too.”

We stare at each other for a few dumbfounded moments.

“What?” My roommate asks.

I explain that my friend’s roommate had moved out completely a few days ago so there was an empty bed and I had planned to move down there. The concept was difficult to make them understand.

They preferred to speak English than Korean and I had to explain things several times and in many different ways.

Finally it seemed to click. “No one. Empty bed.”

My roommate stopped her packing, sat down in her chair and started laughing.

She said two sentences to her friend and then started laughing hysterically. Thanks to my roommate form six years ago, I understand enough Cantonese to know what was going on. She had said : “then I’m not moving, I’m staying in this room.”

Her friend got all sad at that and started pleading and pleading but my roommate was arguing that she wasn’t moving all of that stuff (because there was a lot of stuff) if she could have a room on her own.

Her friend continued to plead though, and finally my roommate gave in and silently began packing again.

During this time I entered the room and sat down at my desk to form a master plan.

I couldn’t move into the room downstairs until Monday evening, because the office had to come in and clean and take away all of the belongings of my friend’s old roommate. But maybe she could move up instead. That is if the Spanish girl was okay with having a room on her own two floors down.

I texted my friend with the proposal and she came up to talk I over. All five of us gathered and I presented my master plan.

Everyone agreed.

So my roommate continued to move into the room next door. The Spanish girl who usually lived there packed her things to move two floors down. My German friend who usually lived down there packed her things to move two floors up and into my room.

An hour earlier I was the only one who was supposed to move, and now, suddenly, I was the only one who didn’t need to. I thought it was a pretty ingenious outcome.

In one crazy night of packing we were carrying suitcases and boxes from room to room.

I looked up at the CCTV camera in the elevator. “I hope the security guard has snacks,” I said. “This is going to be quite a show.”

We switched around at the speed of light. Suitcases and drawers full of clothes were wheeled up and down and in and out. Within an hour the switch was as good as complete.

My old roommate had emptied out the full closet space beneath her bed and the one above her bed and she had even emptied out her big closet and everyone on the selves over her table.

She looked around to see if there was anything else and opened the refrigerator to take her things. She was as shocked at the state of the refrigerator as me.

She emptied out her own things and then tried to clean it. But she had left the things in the freezer so I pointed to it and said: “what about this?”

“Is that mine?” She asked and proceeded to curse out her old roommate. She pulled one semi rotten thing out after the other. Everything landed in the now overly full trash can just outside the door.

Thinking herself done, she was about to leave when I pointed to all of the things in the hallway. “And this?”

“What? That’s mine??”

She stood and stared at it and this time she didn’t only curse her old roommate out in Cantonese but equally called her out in English.

So all of those stacks of weird hoarding in the hallway were left over by her old roommate and she had been supposed to come and take all those things but apparently she just decided to leave them behind... so most of that stuff got carried three meters outside the door and put with the trash.

There were all sorts of weird things that we aren’t even allowed to own in the dorm. Black rice and cooking utensils that we can’t use unless we have a portable stove which we aren’t allowed to have. There were half a hundred weird things, but it all got put out with the trash and this morning the cleaning lady spent an hour hauling it away.

So the mystery is now solved: although my old roommate had a lot of things in her room, the real hoarder and problem maker was her old roommate who hadn’t cleaned up and hadn’t taken her own things with her.

But now I’m comfortably in my room with a new nice roommate who is not a hoarder.

I cleaned the room last night so it is spotless (even the fridge) and everyone is now in the right rooms and happy (I hope).

​So today’s mission for my new roommate and I was to go out into town and shop for some posters or something for us to hang on the damaged walls and make it feel more like a home and not just a run down hotel room. Well, it’s not run down, it’s actually a very nice room, but the white walls have marks from where posters have been plastered before so it makes it look at little....

So posters were needed to cover up the marks left by previous residents.

We still have one ugly wall to cover up with deep dark marks left by posters, but now the room feels cozy and I feel like a teenager again.

It was good timing too, because today was the day where lots of teenagers who are finishing high school arrived at Ewha University with their parents in hope to make it into this university. Just before 1pm the streets were full of teenagers and their parents hopefully heading down the hill from the subway station to the university.

Not your usual weekend at Ewha where it's only students who come to study in their own time or tourists who come to take photos of the famous ECC (Ewha Campus Complex, a building that has become quite famous and that I shall show you at a later time). Today it was busy like 9am on a weekday, except that the crowd was different.

That's all for today. I shall go to sleep early tonight because tomorrow is the first day of classes. Wish me luck.

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