A Day of Gross

So I got into work this morning, picked up my water bottle to empty yesterday’s dregs and refill it, and was met with swirling pond scum.


Thinking that it had only been a reflection of my green lid, I’d been chugging bottle after bottle of boiled kettle water since Monday.

However the horror of discovering this paled tonight when, in packing for Vietnam and Cambodia, I looked behind  a bookshelf and discovered…well…a bit of  mold problem. In fact one the height of a small child or hobbit.






To preface this, when I first arrived at my apartment I knew there was a mold problem. I scoured the walls and left a coating of bleach to discourage any further growth which I’m happy to say was about 80% successful. That said I’d noticed a few weeks back that it seemed to be growing back in that particular corner, although wrote it off as the flat black spots I’d initially encountered.

Except when I looked closer today I saw these were no simple two dimensional spots but rather 3D tribbles fuzzing up my wallpaper.

I confess I nearly hurled when Ricky and I pulled the bookcase away from the wall to reveal it. The horror of knowing that had been growing for god knows how long, just at the foot of my bed, was (and is) positively traumatizing. Keep in mind we live in one-room studio apartments. There’s no getting away from this.

Well, luckily I can get away and have told Ricky I’m moving into his apartment indefinitely. Explains the constant coughing and blocked nose I’ve had since arriving.

I of course contacted my co-teacher right away and, horrified, she called up my landlord pronto. He at once said he’d come to repaper my apartment while I’m on vacation with waterproof wallpaper…although part of me worries that the casual approach to things like this in Korea means it won’t be completely detoxified and spores will still be hanging around in the air – or worse, in my stuff.

Anyone had experience with this kind of thing before? I’ve never seen it so bad and I don’t want to get rid of my things. I’m a materialistic sentimental wimp who likes her stuff.

In other news, yay for vacation at last! Heading to Ho Chi Minh city with a 24 hour layover in Manila, Philippines, and then off to Cambodia before heading back to Vietnam and returning to Korea.  Never looked forward to a vacation so much.

10 thoughts on “A Day of Gross

  1. Oh…My…Gawd! That mold is horrifying! Thank-goodness you’re leaving on vacation. I hope your landlord realizes that he is just wasting his money on wallpaper. He needs to fix the underlying cause. And look at that water on the floor. Holmes on Homes, where are you?


  2. Yeah…it’s not something to just paper over. Here in Montreal my friend had to leave her apartment because of mold. This is a serious health issue. Keep it on record for another reason if you need to break contract. Being given a health-risk studio apartment, unclean water supply, etc…rack up the list and you may find you get your flight paid home…
    I don’t think you have to throw away your things. We did that after the floods because the things had soaked in the water…or if they began to smell. Sometimes a good airing out for books and non washable items is enough. Otherwise a bit of bleach in water to clean the rest might do the trick. Look up online the ratio to use…and what to do. When you return. Right now…fly away and have the time out you very much deserve.
    Good luck with your connections and bus routes and all the getting around…may it not take away in any way from the vacation but add to the adventure in a fun way.


  3. “A bit of a mold problem . . . ” NOT !
    Like where is the water coming from that is on the floor. Ripping out the wall will remove the immediate symptom but not necessarily the cause. Is your air conditioning unit above it BTW? Is there a slowwwww leak from a mechanical unit nearby or on the opposite side of that wall?

    As for the boiled water from the kettle . . . the water bottle has to be cleaned every 2-3 days with soap & water and several drops of bleach before using it again. Better still throw that bottle away and get another clean one. And preferably a model with the least amount of textures and designs in the plastic where green algae develops when water is left standing for more than 24 hours. And empty the bottle after the day’s use.

    Bon voyage to both of you and bring us back some good stories.
    Sorry I could not send flowers to you for Valentine’s. The florists refused to deliver to your address. Something about your absence for a couple of weeks.


    1. Yeah I have no idea why there’s a puddle. It’s an outside wall on the other side but it still doesn’t account for how bad that got. My landlord said to leave the windows open and not turn on the heating…but obviously in winter that’s not an option. My apartment gets so. cold. Even Andrea who likes things on the chilly side gets cold. Sigh.


      1. Yeah there’s absolutely no excuse for mold of that caliber to develop in a building as new as yours. They don’t insulate for shit here. What a waste of an otherwise beautiful and new apartment! It is the wall under your aircon though…right on, Daddo. It might not even be leaking, but if they didn’t insulate the area well, the heat from the pipes there might be causing condensation. Rewallpapering won’t do shit.


      2. I completely agree. I’m really hoping they detoxify though Hami said she’d make sure she told him. But still…not that I don’t trust them, but they do think an adequate cleaning product here is soju, so….


  4. Me thinks you hit the problem and observable solution flintfootjourney and whoever did the install of the aircon did not understand plumbing and vapour barrier effects in cold vs warm weather conditions.


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