Garage sale anyone?

Garage sale? What garage sale? No such thing in Korea. Sure there are people who go to farmer’s markets. Sure there are those who trade their books at a used book store for other books. But why can’t the people in your neighborhood just gather together to try to have a garage sale?

I decided to finally do some spring cleaning. I have an old desktop computer that doesn’t quite work. I kept the hard drives but decided to get rid of everything else. I have an old PS2 that I haven’t touched in like 3-4 years, along with over 100 games. I could have sold these things online somewhere. I’m sure there are other expats who might be interested. But I’m lazy. Instead, I decided to just throw everything out. The problem is that you can’t really do that in Korea. You have to call someone to pick up your junk, especially your furniture. I took everything downstairs only to see the security guard look at me funny. He was like, “What are you doing with all that?” I tried to explain that I just wanted to “donate” everything. And he was like, “Sure. I will help you out. Just give me $10 and I will get rid of it all for you.” In America, I would tell him to get lost and go on with my business. But here in Korea, that’s how it works.

In order to get rid of stuff like computers, sofas, tables, chairs, so on (anything fairly big), you must pay someone to come pick it up. What happened to just leaving the junk outside your place and have someone just wonder around and grab what they want? It makes no sense to me. Anyway, knowing that is how things work in Korea, I just gave the guy the $10 bucks and scurried back to my empty apartment. I’m sure he was laughing the whole time. He probably just turned around and told his friend how these foreigners are so stupid. I’m sure he and his friend sold everything for a lot more than I thought possible.

The other day, Ben (another manager at my school) and I went over to where the teachers live and got rid of an old bed that we no longer needed. We had to pay $20 to have the right to throw it away. We originally paid like $50-60 for it a couple of years ago. Can you imagine paying $50-60 for a crappy bed, only to pay another $20 just to get rid of it? There’s something terribly wrong with this system. But such is life.

Posted on July 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm by Lee · Permalink
In: Culture, Korea, My Life · Tagged with: , ,

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