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The Truth about Living in a Guesthouse

Even though my adventures in Korea have been over for quite some time now, I’ve decided to keep posting some stuff that I didn’t post while I was there, or that I just thought of, so you will see some more posts popping up over the coming weeks/months.
Besides, I have to keep this blog warm for when I’m going back to Seoul, right?

So this post is about living in a guesthouse in Korea.


It can be pretty rough; every time you want to take a shit, someone’s taking a shower; when you want to sleep because you have to get up early, someone’s going/gone clubbing and thus crazy loud; and when you want some privacy you’re shit out of luck because you’re sharing your room with 1 to 7 other people.
But even though, especially in the first months, I considered moving to a hotel many times, it didn’t take me that long to discover the positive sides to living in a hostel.

The first full month I stayed there was December, and my room (8 bed mixed dorm) was always filled with incredibly loud and obnoxious people. Unlike when doing volunteer projects, the people you meet in a hostel definitely aren’t all awesome. In fact, most of them are assholes. But after the neverending waves of clubbers and “I done gon’ screw me sum yellow pussy” people in December, I got to experience the real guesthouse life.

I shared my room with one, sometimes two people, and they were usually very well behaved. Some people came in who would also start living there for a longer time; my Korean hyung Kwang Bong, who was in his thirties but always acted like a kid; the Kpop crazy Swede Caroline and later on the tallest and manliest motherfucker ever, Daniel.
Aside from that, the staff was also incredibly homely. Watching TV together, eating pizza, drinking somaek, Jin always greeting everyone with a cheery ‘good morning!’ even though you stumbled out of your bedroom looking like a zombie at 15:00; it’s all stuff that you would never get to experience in a hotel room.


On top of that, I realized living in a hotel would be so lonely. At Pencil (my guesthouse) I met about 10 new people each week, if not more. And even if 9 of them were assholes, that’s still 1 good person every 7 days! I thinking living there has made me a bit more social, and I’m sure it kept me from getting depressed because of loneliness many times. Hell, I even let myself be persuaded to head out clubbing with them sometimes, and whenever there were some people there who were just in Seoul for the weekend to get drunk, we had drinking games and lots of great times in the communal living room. Maybe knowing the chances of ever seeing one of them again was so small had made people a little less cautious, but there’s a lot of great stories I got to witness while I was there staying sober while people went out and came back from clubbing.


One situation stands out in particular..One morning I woke up and stumbled to the downstairs bathroom to take my morning wee, but found it was locked, a big sign saying ‘BATHROOM IS BROKEN, I HAVE CALLED THE PUMBLER -DJ’ plastered on the door. All morning people were talking and complaining about it, wondering what had happened. Some rumors started flying right away, because people had heard some drunk chick had flooded the upstairs bathroom which had led to water damage even downstairs. A little later, a guy came down to explain to us what had happened; one of the American guests had had a liiiittle bit too much to drink the night before and had decided to take a shower. Subsequently, she passed out while the water was still on. The drainage in the upstairs bathroom wasn’t very good, so the water started to rise and fill the room almost up until the threshold when he walked in and saw the girl sleeping on the floor, water almost completely covering her mouth and nose. She could’ve drowned if he hadn’t lifted her up to put her in bed.
That wasn’t the end of it though. I didn’t actually know who he was talking about yet, because he didn’t mention her name, but somewhere in the afternoon one of the girls came down the stairs. As most other people, she was complaining about both bathrooms being locked and unusable when I asked her about her night. She said she only remembered stepping under the shower and then woke up in her bed. Some pieces of the puzzle started coming together and the guy explained to her it was her that caused all the damage. It was totally hilarious to see this sudden realization, let me tell you. “I DID THAT? FUCK. I ALMOST DROWNED? I BROKE THE HOSTEL? I BROKE THE HOSTEL! FUCK!”

Even though I learned to enjoy such antics and the constant presence of other people, I sometimes needed some time for myself. I usually retreated to the table in the kitchen that no one ever used, hooked up my laptop, and ignored everything else. The table was kind of out of sight so usually I’d be ignored while people were talking in the living room.


Over the course of my time there, Pencil really started to feel like home to me, and I miss it dearly.
Even though I am planning to get my own room when I go back to Seoul, I’m pretty sure I will try to stay there again, if only for a little while.



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This entry was posted on 15 March 2012 by in Korea, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .

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Forgotten Tomes


  • 25,833 Minds Expanded


#스타크래프트 is love #Starcraft is life.

Being a Starcraft fan in Korea feels a lot like what I'd imagine being a rich acquaintance of Ronaldo would feel like for a football fan - you get front row seats to all the major games, get to meet legends like Messi, Robben or Buffon (in our case, Byun, SoO or Stats) and get to ask for their signature pretty much whenever you want - all without paying a single penny.

The professional scene has been taking hit after hit since I started getting interested in it, and I'm afraid it'll never be the same as it once was, but I'm glad that in 2018, as well, I'll be able to enjoy some of the best e-Sports the world has to offer.

#WingsOfLiberty down, #HeartOfTheSwarm and #LegacyOfTheVoid to go.


#스타2 #스타크래프트2 #Starcraft2 #Byun #TY #Maru #INnoVation #esports #gaming #progamer #Korean #Korea #e스포츠 #진에어 #진에어그린윙스 #SKT1 #Dark #collection #collector #PC #RTS #변현우 #이신형 #전태양 #조성주 처음 한국에서 @kim.minji.ki204 가 그린 책을 발견할 때부터 (그 #책 읽을 수 없어도, ㅎㅎ) 한 순간엔 큰 #팬 되었고 작년 #서울일러스트레이션페어 에서 직접 만날 수 있어서 너무 즐거웠다.

이제 인스타로 새 책을 받을 수 있는 이벤트가 있어서 당연히 참여해야지~

#kimminji #thejunglebook #정글북 #정글북리그램이벤트 #indigo 한국에서 역사랑 현대 항상 어떤 이상한 발렌스로 공존한다.

In Korea, the past and the present are always living together in some sort of awkward balance.
Traditional norms, values and traditions clash with the influence of a rapidly modernizing and developing society; pride in one's roots compete with a constant need to move forward, and historical buildings vie for room to breathe in the middle of a metropolis.
I hope Korea manages to move forward without forgetting the things that make it unique.


#대한민국 #한국 #절 #불교 #봉은사 #역사 #현대 #발렌스 #서울 #Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #Buddhist #history #present #balance #City #koreantemple #development #Metropolis #tranquility #modernization This is such an #unoriginal picture but..doesn't it look just like a #postcard?

#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Namsan #NamsanTower #City #Road #Traffic #Korean #mountain #trees #green #NSeoulTower #Tower #서울 #도시 #남산 #남산탑 #산 #탑 #도로 #엽서 #그림엽서 #남산타워 On some nights, when I'm feeling all beat down by stress and worries about whether or not I'll be able to support myself over here or where my life is heading, and when I'm just drunk enough, when I see the second snow of the year coming down outside my window, I just can't help but go outside, play some music and dance in the snow like an idiot because for some reason it just reminds me of how much I love being in this country.
Fuck you, Korea. I love you.
#secondsnow #firstsnow #둘째눈 #첫눈 #Seoul #서울 #snow #눈 #Korea #SouthKorea #Korean #Life #Street #KyungHeeUniversity #KyungHee #경희 #경희대 #dongdaemoon #동대문구 #이문동 #winter #겨울 #atmosphere #분위기 #reallylongsentence 어제는 드디어 지난달 #SBS 하고 #재지 랑 촬영한 #내방안내서 #방송 되었다!
내 역할을 크지 않았지만 궁금하신 분들이 내 #블로그 에서 내 이야기를 읽을 수 있다 ^^
The episodes I worked on together with SBS Korea for a show called #GuideToMyRoom finally started airing since last week and even though my role wasn't very big, it's still really enjoyable to see the places I visited and the people I met on TV. I wrote a long piece on my #blog about my experiences in Haemin Sunim's temple, so give it a read if you feel like it.
#멈추면비로소보이는것들 #미황사
#Korea #tv #Koreantv #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #temple #Koreantemple #haeminsunim #절 #불교 #촬영 #버라이어티 #Zazi #혜민스님 #네덜란드 #외국인 #네덜란드어 #Nederlands #Tolk #Interpreter @zazimusic @haemin_sunim
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