Friday, October 18, 2013

Olly Olly Oxen Free! aka LOCKSMITH! WHERE ARE YOU? I NEED YOU! aka My Friendly Neighbor

Well, I wasn't expecting my weekend to start with calling a locksmith to break into my house and then paying 110,000W for a new lock on my door, but it happened.

I'm sure this will be one of those things that I will look back on in a few years and laugh at so it deserves a post.

But right now, it's too raw  to laugh at.  Actually, nix that.  I'm already kind of laughing.
Long story short: my bad luck with doors has continued.  It stalked me all the way to Korea.  In fact, my bad luck with toilets has also continued (since it leaked for about a week and a half, I had issues turning off the seat warmer for about a week, and it's been beeping at me for another two weeks though I finally just unplugged the sucker this morning cause I was sick of hearing the little "Beep beep!"  What?  Am I so fat you have to announce that I'm going over your weight limit or something? Weird).

Anyway, basically I've been sick and my head has felt like it has head a lead weight in it all day.  My goal after reviewing the boys' Winter Olympics speeches for the speech competition for what must have been the eighth time today, was to just come home, take some Tylenol, and vegetate.  Probably on my couch.

Well, that changed.

I got back and, after two months of never having an issue, I put my top lock key in horizontally and not vertically.

That's a big no-no.

So the thing jammed and then I proceeded to spend 15 minutes trying to yank the dumb thing out before I began to start crying.  I texted Niko and Eun Shin, but I figured they would be busy, so no response there.

Thus, I then cried for around another 10 minutes while still jiggling the key and beating my forehead against my door.

And then a beautiful neighbor of mine that I had never met apparently heard my cries and with some gestures and broken Korean/English on my/her part, she called the number on the door for me.  And she looked at me and said, "Don't cry!" in Korean and mimed wiping her eyes.  Then she invited me back to her apartment and made me coffee (and washed some grapes for me - these people are so welcoming with their food!) while we waited the 10 minutes it would take for them to get here.

It was kind of an awkward silence, but we tried with gestures and our wonderful broken English/Korean jumble of words.

The locksmith (which was this cute old guy and his wife) finally came and we went out to meet them.

I'll be honest.  They kind of looked at the key all horizontal in the lock and looked at me and I felt so judged.  Yes.  I now know.  They key goes in vertically.  I will not forget.  If I do, someone flog me.

First, we watched them try to open the door using a little tool and reaching through a hole in the bottom of the door.  

Yeah.  It didn't work for whatever reason.

So the next step was breaking the lock off.

I eventually called Niko because things were getting a little lost in translation with the application we were using on my Friendly Neighbor's phone.  After Niko did some talking with my Friendly Neighbor and then with the locksmith and then relaying it to me (love the co-teachers, love the co-teachers), I finally got to watch them to massacre my old lock off the door using an assortment of drills, screwdrivers, hammers, chisels, and wrenches.

Good to know it takes quite a bit of effort.

Finally, my new lock was on (it is all shiny and new which is a plus) and I thanked them profusely and coughed up the 110,000W fee (50,000 for the service and 60,000 for the new lock).  I wasn't expecting that expense, but I guess I deserve it for being inept.  And I just got my house bill today too... Le sigh.  

Oh well!  There's nothing I can do about that money.  And it is just money.  Good thing I'm not going anywhere through the middle of February excluding the three unavoidable trips I had already planned (Seoraksan, GRE, airport to fly home).  It will be my punishment: I deserve to be punished.

After much miming to explain how the key works (I get it! I'm inept!  Oh my gosh~ so embarrassing at this point!  Ahhhhh...), I followed my Friendly Neighbor back to her apartment around the corner and grabbed my stuff.  She seriously stood with me the whole time.  What a wonderful person!  Thank you!  She apparently has a daughter in high school who is learning English and I think I got invited over for food some time when her daughter is there to translate.  Hahaha! How great.  I was also informed that next time I shouldn't cry at all, but just knock on her door.

Thank you Friendly Neighbor.

I should have just bought that coffee I wanted from The Coffee Pot and maybe I would have been a little more aware of how I was putting the key in the door.

Or is this karma for having to force the GS25 cashier to break my 50,000W note to buy a 2,000W package of Cookies n' Cream Pepero?  Oh my gosh!  I bet it is!

Eun Shin also called me afterward to check in on me.  My text messages were a little pathetic-sounding: "My key is jammed in the door and I can't get in. :((( Help."

But now...  Now I'm going to make myself something delicious, eat some fruit, and watch a movie.  I need a mental break.  Maybe I'll relax by doing some GRE prep questions while the movie plays in the background.

P.S. - I also learned from My Friendly Neighbor that the old English teachers had lots of parties here with other foreigners... I bet they weren't expecting to leave that kind of legacy behind.  Watch what you do guys, watch what you do.  Especially when you're out in public - I have already met some of the loud, obnoxious foreigners that swear a lot and make me ashamed to be grouped with them.  I can read the disapproval in the natives' eyes and bodies.  We are guests here and we should act like it!

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