Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Our Boiler’s Fixed!

This morning, Ken was fed up. Our boiler had been broken for two days, and the only thing our house was protecting us from was the chilly wind sliding down from our backyard mountain. We could’ve enjoyed breakfast outside on our roof with the temperature as it was, for we could see our breath both indoors in our kitchen, and outdoors on our front, concrete lawn.

I decided to call Aunt Kimchi’s son to get things straightened out. I didn’t want to force my little hand upon anyone, but enough was enough. Teachers in Andeok School couldn’t fix our problem, two repairman (specializing in the brand of our boiler) couldn’t fix our problem, Aunt Kimchi couldn’t fix our problem (she was certain that we ‘Westerners’ had fiddled with too many of the boiler’s buttons)…

After I finished teaching my classes at Hyeonseo School, I called Aunt Kimchi’s son, and Young-hee (my Andeok co-teacher), who then called Jung-won (a fellow teacher at Andeok School), who decided to come and supervise the repairing of our boiler.


At 5:00pm, Jung-won came to the front door of the house and we talked about many things, from favourite movies and music to the H1N1 influenza in Korea. About forty-five minutes later, Ken arrived from Bunam, finding Jung-won and me sitting in our empty living room. Soon after, we heard a slinky voice slip in from outside the door… “Sungsaengneem…” Aunt Kimchi was here.

Aunt Kimchi had come first, hearing about our boiler situation from her son. I uncomfortably conversed with her while Ken talked to Jung-won. Fifteen long minutes later, Aunt Kimchi’s son arrived with the man who first installed our boiler.

It took two grueling hours to determine what was wrong. Our two front doors were kept open the entire time to allow for the repairman to move back and forth between the boiler and its control box. Our house had become an icebox. Finally the source of the problem was identified. Our new boiler’s motor had somehow been “locked” this entire time.

With a simple turn of the wrench, the boiler’s motor started to run, and the two-month-long problem that plagued Ken and I since we moved in was magically fixed! Within thirty minutes, we could feel traces of heat scattered around our wooden floor.

I should’ve gone mad, especially since our heating was fixed with a simple turn of the wrist, but I’m just glad that I don’t have to thaw myself with a shower every morning, after becoming a meat popsicle from the night before.

- Jess


  1. I didn't think it was cold in Korea..?

  2. Oh ya it gets cold out here... It's roughly the same elevation and latitude as New York, so we have about the same weather (light snow, temperature below zero, but no massive snowstorms like Montreal).