So I thought I should put up some photos of my neighbourhood, considering there’s not much else to blog about this week. The house – or rather, the large room with en suite, not that I’m complaining – is still not very presentable. I have a bed with a bed-cover and pillowcases that actually match, the kitchen cupboards are full of pots, pans and cutlery, and the fridge now contains fruit and vegetables, not to mention milk, and cereal in the pantry. Pantry is being generous; a box of cereal on a shelf is not a pantry in the traditional sense.

I still lack the facilities to make hot tea – or indeed iced tea – which means that by English standards my house is really a hovel, and I am something less than a squatter. Even gypsies enjoy a warm pot of tea as they wander about the world. The place is still a mess and my clothes are still hanging off inappropriate but convenient surfaces: next week I will finally order a wardrobe and a table and chairs. The girlfriend is currently in Tokyo, and I think the task of buying and ordering furniture is best left until she returns, and can negotiate discounts and the intricacies of delivery. Despite my glossy veneer of Western independence I am, and have always been, reliant on some sort of female for basic help.

The weather here has turned cold sharply, and we seem to have passed from blazing summer to the bitter prelude to winter with about four days of gorgeous autumn in between. Koreans, judging from my students, seem to be weather pessimists of the strongest kind; many have already consigned autumn to the grave and tell me gloomily that it will be winter from now until March next year. Happily my house, though old and crappy, has thick walls and windows, and is pleasantly warm when the outside is cold.

So for the moment, I’m cheerily eating apples and tinned corn over the sink, looking forward to the table and chairs. It will truly be life-changing. Sadly, this current situation is a vast improvement to where I was a month ago, living in the hermit cave with the psychotic dog and the human abortion. I’ll leave you with some nicer images, of the neighbourhood around Sungshin Women’s University.