My Korean Apartment in Busan (1.11.2013 — 12.31.2014)  
Entrance to the apartment complex.

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My new apartment in Jangjeon-dong — the living room in the morning.

I recently moved to the Daewoo Prugio apartment complex [l] near the Pusan National University subway station. The apartment was built in 2007, is on the 19th floor, has a size of 140 square meter, and has a chonsei of 250 million won. What is a “chonsei”? The rent system here differs a bit from the one in other countries: in Korea, it's possible to rent an apartment by paying a fixed sum every month as in other countries, but it's also possible to pay a large fully-refundable deposit (the chonsei) and not pay any monthly fee. The chonsei can be thought of as an interest free mortgage given by the renter to the owner.

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Entrances are generally well designed in Korean apartments — there's a special place to take off the shoes with some closets nearby to store them, and some more space for a coat hanger. I found the coat hanger at the Hanyang plaza [l].

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A view of the living room with the dining room in the distance. I got a great deal on the leather sofas (about 2 million wons). They were bought in the Sunplaza store in Haeundae [l].

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Dining room.

All the floors in the apartment are heated through the ondol system. The ondol is the traditional way of heating houses in Korea — in ancient times, the ondol consisted of wood being burned under some stones located beneath the floors; this has been modified in modern times by water being heated through a gas heater and circulating in pipes embedded in the floor concrete. Those who have experienced it can attest that the ondol provides superior comfort compared to other heating techniques — the floor is warm, there is no need to wear thick wool socks, and the air is not overheated.

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Kitchen including two refrigerators (one is built-in but not shown here, being to the right of the picture), a dishwasher, a stove, and a gas oven. The fridge shown is a Samsung Zipel I bought 4 years ago at the Megamart in Dongnae [l]. Not too expensive (950,000 won), very quiet, and great design.

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Reading room; some books that can be found here (and that are worth reading) include “Aging Well” by Vaillant, “The Third Chimpanzee” by Diamond, and “Merchant, Soldier, Sage” by Priestland.

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Here is one of the three bedrooms, with a futon Korean style. No need for a bed when the floor is heated with the ondol ;)

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One of the two bathrooms — this one has a jacuzzi bath, while the other has a stand-up shower.

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My two bunjae plants (better known under the name “bonzai” in western countries, and more specifically ficus microcarpa ginseng), given to me by the department when I joined in 2008. They are still doing great.

See my previous flats:

SK Sky Hub, Busan, 48th Floor (2010.02.25 — 2012.01.01) [l].
02.12.13
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