Sunday, March 08, 2009


I'm living in a place called Ori, in a city called Bundang which is just outside of Seoul. It's a relatively new place having been largely constructed in the past ten years and a lot of people who live here commute into Seoul. In fact lots of it is still under construction and huge cranes dominate the skyline on it's outer edges.

It's a really nice place and the school is only five minutes away by bus, which makes it extremely convenient for me and even though it is a new town, it doesn't the artificiality or sterility that other places such as Milton Keynes in England seem to have.

I'm staying in an officetel, which is a cross between a hotel and an apartment block. It's very nice. The room is huge compared to the one I had in Japan and it comes with all mod cons. My door even talks to me in Korean, although I haven't quite worked out what it is saying yet(or maybe I've just gone insane).

My room also has underfloor heating which at first I thought was a little strange but I've since learnt that there is a historical reason for this.

Underfloor heating is known as ondol. Traditionally coal was burnt in an oven under a clay floor, although this is now very rare. Nowadays modern apartments use hot water pumped through pipes and I have to admit it's a very good way of heating the apartment and keeping warm, although I'll have to be careful what I leave on floor. At least I know I'm not going to freeze in the cold Korean winter.

The area is very good with lots of bars, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, a cinema and a golf driving range so I'll definitely be trying to improve my swing once the weather gets a little warmer. There's definitely plenty here to keep me busy.

Fortunately I'm on the underground line and it also only takes forty minutes to get into Seoul by bus. Taxis too are really cheap being under ten pounds into Seoul, so I'm definitely very happy with the location.