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Move the Decimal

During our layover in Seattle we checked into a hotel for maybe 6 hours. Scandalous? No, we wanted the girls to sleep in beds before the long flight to Korea. Side note - I’ve made the executive decision to just say Korea from now on and make the assumption that everyone knows we are in South Korea. Back to Seattle, after our short stay at the Embassy Suites, an extremely kind shuttle driver drove us back to the airport around 1AM with our mountain of luggage, strollers, and Pack N’ Plays. He asked where home is for us. It feels like I’ve always had a several minute explanation to this question. I normally start jamming on about how I’m from Virginia and Tim is from Iowa, and we met in DC. But for the first time, I just said Dayton. Our home is in Dayton, Ohio.

Nearly four weeks later we have a new spot to start calling home. We found a single family home in Asan. It’s about 12km from Tim’s work. Wait, what? Kilometers? Ugh, yes. I am adjusting to kilometers, celsius, won, and the lunar calendar (what?). Whenever I talk aloud about converting numbers, Tim says to “Move the decimal and multiply by 6”. Wait, what decimal? I know that 5 kilometers is about 3 miles (because that's about what a 5K run is)…all my conversions starts there.

The housing market is different here and you hire a Realtor who makes all your transactions on your behalf. Your Realtor is your liaison with your landlord and caretaker. There are a lot of Americans living here and the Koreans have built these pop up communities in the suburbs geared towards American families. The interiors are very modern with American and Asian influence. Each little community has it’s own Americanized name like Dreamers Ville, or Beverly Hills, or Pine Town. What they think will resonant with Americans but the spacing and the capitalization isn’t quite right. It comes out more like beverelyHills.

Tim and I both imagined we would be in a small apartment; more than likely in a high-rise complex. We are thrilled to have “found” a single family home in a community of about 50 homes. I put the “found” in quotes - because it’s not like we discovered it off the beaten path. It's catered to Americans and we were chauffeured to view it. From what I can tell it’s all Americans living here. It’s next to a frog farm…..which I can only imagine that the frogs are for….eating. So far, I’ve found one dried up escapee in our new home. You can hear them at night. The live ones…not the escapees.


  • Shoe closet by the front door is huge.

  • There are large closets with great lighting…you know because your clothes like the right lighting too.

  • Two of the four bathrooms have bidets - that include a “ladies” setting.


  • Silverware organizer in the dishwasher is teeny tiny - don't need much space for chopsticks over here.

  • Creepy crawlers. Tim does a morning and nightly sweep of bugs around the house. Takes care of about 10 bugs each sweep. I kill about 5 or so throughout the day. They crunch multiple times in a paper towel. They all have lots of legs that you find later…still moving.

  • Garbage and recycling are no joke here. Everything is sorted; plastic, cans, glass, paper, food waste, and garbage. We now keep a “food waste” bag in our freezer to scrape our plate leftovers and rogue floor cheerios into. I think this is getting fed to animals… Every tiny piece of plastic packaging on a Ketchup container seems excessive to me now.

Here’s a few photos of the new digs. Rosie loves the not so child friendly hot/cold water dispenser.

P.S. It's stopped raining.

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Dear Valerie, you make me chuckle every time I read your posts! I love the bit about the frog escapees! Hug those amazing Grand Girls for me! Love Grammy Sharie


Denis Boyle
Denis Boyle
Aug 15, 2020

Hey Val! After many years, I finally devised a good method (for me a least) of converting temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit. You may already have your own way of doing that, but I'll share mine if you want.

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