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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Great Big Korean Adventure, Days 2-4: Sweet Baboo Goes House Hunting

So while drinking a delicious glass of wine, we learned that Sweet Baboo would have to acquire our Korean home before we could even leave the US. My anxiety instantly and exponentially spiked when I realized the potential consequences of this little detail.

In the beginning years of our marriage, Sweet Baboo and I made the decision to let me handle most things pertaining to how the house would be run, and he would deal with how his office would operate. I don't go to his office and tell him how to set up his desk; he doesn't tell me which kitchen is best suited for my work. Ever since we came to that agreement, house shopping and dwelling blissfully has been on cruise control. That isn't to say that he gets no say in how we set up the house; but he realizes that between his day-job and the many travels he tends to take, our home some times feels like a hotel room for him. So it is my job to pick the home.

Until the Army fires me from that job.

Thank the high heavens for Facetime! And for patient realtors who do not make their clients feel weird for doing a virtual walk through, live. And for awesome roller derby coaches who stay behind after practice so we can finish a walk through in one of the homes. And, most importantly, for husbands who realize the importance of letting their wives be as involved as humanly (and technologically) involved as possible.

But before the tours, we needed to decide what we could afford. Here's the kind of scary part: we get paid in US Dollars. But we will pay our rent in Korean Won. And our allowance won't immediately reflect the exchange rate changes. So we wanted to make sure we stayed pretty well below our OHA cap. I went here to find our budget.

Next, Sweet Baboo sent me a list of furniture that we would be able to borrow from the Army to furnish our new home. Remember that mess about potentially not being able to bring the 50% weight allowance? You can't be expected to sleep on the floor, so the Army keeps loaner furniture over there to save money on shipping our furniture. The furniture isn't top of the line, but it's something. And I'm grateful for the service.

Finally, I gave Sweet Baboo my "please, please, please, oh puhleeeeeese look for places with this..." list. It includes such items as "a kitchen that I can actually cook and enjoy cooking in", "a space large enough for us to do homeschool in", and (since I do want this to be an adventure) "as authentically Korean as possible". We don't get to live on post, so if we're going to live on the economy, I want to "live as the Koreans do". It's only temporary, right?

I did have a second list. It was my "but if you can make this happen, I'd be forever appreciative". This list had items like "if we're going to live in a high rise apartment, please put up high so we can enjoy the views!", "a view from the kitchen sink would be fantastic", "plenty of closet space so I don't have to fold much laundry", and "somewhere to put The Beast".

Sweet Baboo came through!

We have no pictures of the new home just yet. You'll have to wait until I can get there and pull out Lux. But until then, here's what I know:

* 19th floor
* Beautiful view from the kitchen sink
* Awesome kitchen sink (this was very important to Sweet Baboo)
* 4 bedrooms, 2 baths
* Hardwood floors throughout
* A cafe and two small grocery stores in the building
* Fantastic enclosed patio
* Closets in every bedroom

I'm pretty excited, and I'm proud of my husband for jumping through hoops to make sure I'm as involved as I can be from the other side of the world. I married an amazing man, and worry that I don't tell him often enough how much I appreciate him.

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