Life in Korea · Rant

I will not miss [3]

I will not miss Ondol heating. If you are not familiar with this, Ondol heating is basically heating in the floor. In Korea, they don’t have vents or heaters like we do in Canada, they have these tubes under the floor that provide heating to the rooms of an apartment , but not in the bathroom. First of all, who likes a cold bathroom floor?!?! I don’t like to go pee in the middle of the night half asleep only to be greeted by an ice-cold floor. The bathroom should be a warm and comfortable area. One needs to establish trust with this room because that’s where one gets naked, and where unspeakable things happen. Second, how come the whole floor doesn’t heat equally??!? Some spots of my floor are burning hot, while others are just plain cold. I don’t understand, is it in the settings? I’ll be walking casually in my room one day, and stumble upon lava! One of the first time I turned on my ondol, I set the temperature too high and when I woke up in the morning I literally could not walk barefooted. That was my bad. I still don’t understand how high I should set the temperature to. It works in degrees, so I though setting it to 23 would make the room feel like 23. But oh was I wrong. Now it’s set to 16 degrees, for 40 minutes every 4 hours. It does the job of keeping my room kinda warm. Third reason why I hate it, it’s because it can freeze if you turn it off?!?! The director of my school told us that we had to leave it on in the winter because the water tank can freeze and bust the pipes under the floor, forcing the building to change the entire floor. That’s understandable because the water tank is literally outside, protected only by plastic blinds. Like find a better way to protect it maybe? If I had the choice, I would not turn my heating at all because lastly, ondol heating is freaking expensive?!?!? My apartment is paid by the company, but I have to pay for heating, gas and internet. Basically, for these three things these past few months, I’ve been paying ₩240,000 (roughly 270 Canadian dollars). That’s freaking crazy! I was not expecting to pay this much. When I got here in September, I was paying around ₩50,000 for the three, but when winter came by and I had to constantly leave my ondol on, the price skyrocketed. I am seriously disappointed in the style of heating, because I was actually looking forward to trying it. Doesn’t it sound nice? A warm floor you can walk on? Well, it’s not as nice as it sounds.

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