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Poop fruit

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When you walk around in Seoul, it can all of a sudden start to smell like dog poo. Precisly that smell of when you got it under your shoe as little. But it isn't dog poo it is fallen fruit, from the maiden hair tree, that have been chrushed. This fruit is called Ginkgo and should be healthy for you. Like everything in Korea, but I dont know when the old ladies collect it by the side of the highway. They are a size of a strawberry.
I recognize the maiden trees leaves from asian paintings, you can find these trees far back in the history because it was a good source for food and medicine.

The fruit is pickeld or you can make liquor out of them. It's said they should be tasty. But the smell is horrible! Where I lived before it was a long avenue with only those trees. I almost kept my breath the whole distance.
So if you wonder what's that smell, don't look under your shoe look up in the trees instead!



To move in no time

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The same day I came back from Sweden after summer visit, I found out that my apartment friend would travel away in three weeks for an unknown amount of time. I had been thinking about moving for a while since commuting to work took such a long time, and living on a partystreet withouth having sound isolating windows isen't  good since I need to be well rested for work. When you have a long commuting time the everyday life outside work is none existing. 

After one week the moving span three weeks, changed to move out in one week since my room was expected to be empty by then. Last time I had to move that quickly I was lucky to find such cheap room that fast. This time I was looking for a appartment of my own since I have a full time job. How and where to start when everything is in korean?

Something to understand before I proceede about South Korea is that after the war when all of Seoul was destroyed, the only way to re-build the city and appartments was for tennant to pay deposit before their appartment was built. With this payment system Seoul could rise from the ashes.
This payment still exist. It is almost impossible to get a contract under one year period. You pay deposit for one year, and it is around $9300 to $67 000.

The monthly rent will be lower if you pay a higher deposit, witch you recive back when moving out. For example if you pay deposit $9300 your monthly rent could be around $600/month or you pay no deposit and your rent for same appartment would be $1000/month.


To lock that much money for a whole year was not a option for me since I learnt that anything could happen. Luckely the payment system start to adapt and change slightly so I wen't out searching prepared to pay a high monthly rent. 

From a korean app I could look through what was avaible on the market as soon as I got free time. The amount of appartments avaible supprised me. 
You check on a map what area you wan't to live in. Inside you will see the prices and information about the appartments in that area.
For example 110/90 the first number means one million korean won in deposit, and the second number is the monthly rent, in this case 90 000 korean won. Put four zeros after the number.

The agents I got hold of that have the appartments I wanted to see always came picking me up at the station in exlusive cars to drive me around to look at all of these appartments. Hardly any of them knew english but we manage through boddy language and calculator.
I was so stressed out and looked on appartments every day straight after work.

Finally me and one of the better agents found the perfect place on a Friday, only three months contract per time with only one months rent in advance as deposit. The skyscraper is brand new, is located in the heart of Gangnam ten minutes walk from my office. It has very high security and great service!
I was among the first to move in, even the elevator was in plastic. 

That Saturday we wrote the contract after I got it translated. The agent for the house was there, my agent, my lanlords and their daughter. The funniest thing is that the lanlords daughter works in the same office building as I. The world is smal even in Seoul.

I was so happy to have found such a great place and lucky that I found it that fast. Only four days later I moved in with the help of my Swedish friends. Now let my real life in Seoul begin Gangnam style. 



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