Water World

19 Apr

I had to spend last night at a love motel.


Let’s start at the beginning.

Sunday night I return from my weekend spent watching the bullfights in Cheongdo (more on that later) and hanging out in Daegu. I walk into my apartment and immediatly notice that the floor feels squishy underneath my feet.  Normally when this happens it’s because an air bubble has formed under the cheap wood grain patterned linoleum that covers the span of my apartment, but this is different.  I Flip on the lights and walk around for a bit trying to figure out what the problem is when I hear a loud squelching sound and notice water coming coming out from underneath the linoleum where one sheet overlaps another. It turns out that there is a layer of water trapped underneath. So much water that when I step firmly on the floor in the center of the room I  see small ripples migrating towards the wall, which makes the floor look like a cheap water bed.

Elsewhere in my apartment pools of water have formed on top of the linoleum but luckily none are near any electrical devices and my dirty clothes hamper remains untouched. I try to assess where the water is coming from and even contemplate trying to clean it up myself but it dawns on me that I’m too tired, too hungover and it’s too late in the night for me to care. Instead I decide to deal with it in the morning.

I wake up for work the next day and realize there is a lot more water than I originally thought. This is evident in the water that has now begun seeping out into the entryway by the font door. I arrive at work and explain the problem to my co-teacher, who eventually calls the landlord. I’ve gotten used to assuming the worse in these types of situations so I’m already thinking that I’ll end up having to foot the the bill for any repairs that need to be made, or at the very least have to stay somewhere else for a few days while the problem gets sorted out.

By lunch my co-teacher has talked to the landlord and he says that the water is coming from a broken pipe under my kitchen sink. I’m told that I need to go home and clean out the area underneath the sink so that they can come and make the necessary repairs in the morning. Fair enough, I can do that. I’m also told that I should try to clean up the water that is already on the floor and that the water valve to my apartment has been cut off to keep anymore from leaking. I’m not really excited about having to clean it up myself, but I figure any effort on my part that can bring quick and painless end to this dilemma is well worth it. I’ve heard and read many stories involving english teachers going through hell because of household malfunctions–sometimes because of negligence on the part of a landlord and other times because teachers are expected to deal with the problems on their own, with little or no help from anyone. In my case, I’m lucky to at least have a co-teacher who can do my bidding for me. I head home hell bent on getting as much water up as possible.

After an hour of sliding around in flip flops with a makeshift mop (really just a swifter sweeper with an old towel attached to the end of it–not the best tool for the job), I realize that I’m doing nothing more than moving the water from one place to another. It’s clear that that I won’t be able to remove it all and at this point I’m thinking it will probably require some professional assistance.

So lets review what we know so far:

1. A pipe has broken underneath the kitchen sink.
2.  There is water all over the floor, made worse by my attempt to clean it up.
3. The pipe will be fixed, but until then the water in my apartment has been completely cut off (No shower, no laundry, no flushing of the toilet).

I throw some shit in a bag and head to a love motel for the night. Lucky for me there are a slew of them in my neighborhood so I pick one at random and pray that it won’t break the bank. For about 35 bucks I get room with the following amenities: a round bed, an interior that looks like it belongs in a Tim Burton movie, a satin robe that barely goes past my butt cheeks (not that I tried it on) and red neon lights that are attached to the ceiling. I’m officially set for a one-man psychedelic orgy photo shoot and best of all, it has running water.

While at work today, my co-teacher tells me that not only has the landlord fixed the problem under my sink (which actually turned out to be a faulty water heater) but he’s also taken out my recycling for me. Little is said about whether there is still water on the floor, except that I should turn on my ondong floor heating system so that whatever water remains will dry more quickly.

I walk into my apartment halfway expecting to see puddles everywhere, but to my surprise there is not a drop to be found. From what it looks like, he pulled up all the linoleum, removed the water and laid it back down. I Imagine he had to to move the furniture around to do this, but if he did I certainly can’t tell. He also took it upon himself to clean the mirrors and television glass, take out the garbage and arrange some of my shoes next to the door (which actually creeps me out a little). I’m considering sending him a thank you card as well as a request for his services on a weekly basis in exchange for english lessons.

So what stated out as a near disaster turns out to be only a minor irritation due to the help of my awesome co-teacher and and a landlord who either felt sorry for me or is simply an overachieving neat freak.

It’s too bad really. I was somewhat looking forward to spending another night the porno infused love motel.


Kimchi Dreadlocks


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