Airbnb Journal Korea 2019 ZoelieWho

Korea 2019| Airbnb at Mary House’s White Room (Cats!)

*Disclaimer: The building of the Airbnb will not be photographed for privacy purposes. The photos of the house were already available on the Airbnb for references so it was assumed that my photos are allowed. The surroundings of the neighbourhood are not immediately next to the building and photos were taken for references to know where and how to go to the Airbnb and/or other places.

Mary’s House – White Room

Superhost & Accredited by Government
Languages: English, Korean, Mandarin
One room for 2 guests | Hosts: Jay & wife
Check-in: 3PM – 12AM (midnight) | Checkout: 11AM

Who is Mary/Ma-ri?

This is Mary.
A cute fluffy cat who was abandoned in the streets and then adopted by the couple (hosts). She may be betrayed by humans before but she loves sticking around with everyone. However, when she’s pissy and/or mean, she’s really, really pissy/mean. Mary also has two siblings.
More cat photos later! Let me introduce this place first.
Location: Jeongneungcheondong-ro, Dongdaemun-gu
This is a very quiet and non-problematic neighbourhood. It’s very, very quiet and maybe a bit eerie at night especially sometimes with a few drunk men around. It’s better if you have a companion with you just to keep it safe.
Transport: Jegi Station
If I’m not mistaken, all of the nearby stations are named Jegi Station. The closest subway station exits are the Exit 1 (about 10-20mins) and Exit 2 (about 8-15mins). 
When you have arrived, you can stop at the Jegi Station Exit 1 (below) to wait for the host as he will be fetching you to his place. (Note: He will not fetch you to the station during your departure from his place.) It’s important to remember this exit because it’s the only nearby exit that has an elevator. The other exits only have stairs and very rarely do subway exits have an escalator.

One thing to really take note of is that, I only recommend this place to sightseers, non-shoppers or anyone with lighter luggage. This is because the area is further than usually shopping districts and you will also need to walk a lot by feet. On top of that, elevators are not really common options here. I mean, even escalators are rare enough so let alone elevators. Also, the Airbnb is located at the 4th floor of an apartment building that only has stairs and doesn’t have elevators.
We had a few heavy luggage bags so that why I keep stressing this out. 
In case you need a landmark to locate the Exit 1, there is a river between Exit 1 and the Airbnb. Another landmark to take note is the police station that is directly right next to the entrance of Exit 1. 
If any of the above is not inconvenient for you and you want to consider staying here, here are more things to take note of. There are a few house rules that are implemented in this household:
  • No guests or visitors that aren’t from your bookings
  • You must have the same amount of guests as booked via Airbnb
  • There are 3 cats in this place and you must never mistreat them.
  • Keep the room clean and tidy whenever, especially before checking out.
  • No infants/babies or pets. 
  • No smoking, partying or hosting events.

Alright. Next up, let’s look at the Airbnb.

Day View: 

This is what the whole place looks like when you walked into the Airbnb. There’s a small area to keep your shoes indoor but you are not allowed to wear shoes anywhere after that. They also had a huge fan/air filter to keep the place ventilated. Right next to the entrance, you will see a piano with lots of photos and decors.
The photos showed how much of a happy family they are.
The first shared area you will see is the living room that has a comfy sofa, a coffee table and a wide TV screen. Everyone can use the TV and if you’re unsure of how to access it, you can ask the hosts for help.
Right next to the living room, there is a working table for you to sit and work (in case you need to). There is a laptop for everyone to use too. The door next to the table leads to their Brown Room which is available on Airbnb as well. We did not go into the room as we respect the hosts and their guests, so if you want to see what it looks like, do check it out here
Between the Brown Room door and the piano area, there is a sliding door that leads you to the kitchen. The white door on the left is the bathroom which I will show you in a bit.
The kitchen is a wide space that has a long table, plenty of cabinets and a giant fridge. You are allowed to use most of the things here and if you want to cook a proper meal (i.e.: any heating up meals besides using the microwave), you may want to ask the hosts first.
You are allowed to use the cups, utensils and plates. Just make sure that you clean them well after use. It’s a common manner.
The fridge is free to use but you are not allowed to take or eat whatever that isn’t yours. With the same manner, other guests will not be allowed to take anything that’s yours in the fridge too, so you can leave your things inside. Besides that, you can also get water from the dispenser. Among the three options at the lower bar, you can get ice cubes by pressing the first and/or third button, and the second button for cold water.
The hosts said that breakfast is self-service and you can drink the milk that’s in the fridge. Aside from that, the bread on the counter is for you to take too but please do not waste food and only take as much as you can eat. 

I think they may not have jam but you can always buy it from the store.
There’s also a utility room is also right next to the dining table. You are allowed to access here to dispose of recyclable items and use the laundry machines. Please take note that Koreans take recycling really seriously. You need to make sure the items are clean and properly categorized. If you don’t know how just ensure the cleanliness of the items and properly leave it on the counter in this room so that the hosts will help you out.
The washing machine and dryer can only be used between 8am – 8pm. Anytime after that will cause inconvenience to the neighbours living below this floor. Also, for items that are not for recycle, you can throw them in the bins next to the kitchen sliding door.

Night View

The lights will be turned on when the sky is dark but it will be turned off during sleep time too. The shared area is very bright so you don’t have to worry about not being able to see.

I’ve yet to introduce the other doors besides the one next to the laptop desk. The other two doors in the open area lead you to the White Room (the one I booked) and the owner’s room. Please do not simply walk into the owner’s room. 
As for the bathroom, which is located directly next to the bathroom area, it is for everyone to use. It’s a wet bathroom and the drain is directly below the sink. When I shower, I try to wet the toilet as little as possible as I want to keep the other area dry so that I can wear my clothes after a shower without wetting my clothes everywhere. The toilet bowl has a heating function too. You can put your toiletries here but same as the items in the fridge, you are not allowed to use other people’s things and other people aren’t allowed to take yours.

The kitchen is also brightly lit at night but you should turn the lights off when you don’t use the kitchen. Normally, the guests will not use the kitchen as they will eat outside instead. We only used this area when we ordered food delivery.

Our room

So this is the White Room that we booked. It is really a wide space bedroom that has a queen-sized bed, a working desk, a closet, a vanity table and free snacks right next to the bed.
Note: the left side of the bed is slanted downwards. This might cause you discomfort but if your sleeping buddy is alright, you can sleep closer to him/her. I personally didn’t like sleeping too close to people so I sucked it up for the 7 nights here. 
Also, the room has an air conditioner but it’s only available when the room is too hot. There isn’t a fan as well, so without these two air-conditioning electrical appliances, the room tends to get very quiet. At night, we opened on side of the window to let the cold wind in but keep the curtains closed for privacy purposes. There isn’t a lot of noises at night, probably a handful of people talking nearby (rare occasions) but other than that, it’s usually very quiet.
They have a hanging closet for you which also includes towels and another blanket. A roller was also prepared in case your clothes have fur on them (cat fur). You are free to use the towels but I prefer to bring my own so I didn’t use it.
There’s ample space on the vanity table but since it’s white, you might want to put something on top of the table to keep your cosmetics from landing on it. It happened to me and I used a makeup remover sheet to wipe off the table and then again with a wet cloth. If you need a hairdryer, you can find one on top of the closet. It’s pretty decent and dries up my hair fast.

On the desk, you will find many guides available for you, provided by the government. There is also a guide for the house along with a visitor’s book. You can find my entry there if they’ve yet to change the book. You will also find 3 universal plugs available. Don’t worry about plug points, they put a few extenders in the room which makes at least 6-8 plug points in this room.

When you head out

Jay will give you a key to access the door to his apartment and you must never lose it or else you will have to pay about KRW30000 for the replacement. At night, the staircase will be dark but the lights have sensors so they will lit up as you move around the stairs. I personally prefer to keep my phone torchlight on while using it during the dark.

This is how the street looks like in the dark. Some people will walk around but they usually mind their own business. It’s very quiet too. At night, please make sure you wear thick enough unless it’s a hot summer. The wind tends to get really cold.
The closest train station for travelling across Seoul is Exit 2, which has a mini escalator. This neighbourhood is almost like a retirement area, which means there would be many old folks around. That’s why they have an escalator. Otherwise, in other areas, they usually don’t have any.
Here’s a comparison between the streets during the night and day. Do take note that there are many people drinking in the restaurants (like warung/warong but Korean style) at night. Drunk people will be around but they typically won’t cause trouble. The surveillance cameras will be working too and if there are any teenagers trying to cause trouble, the officers will speak through the speaker to tell them off. However, it’s really better to have a companion and walk quickly to your destination. Better safe than sorry.
Here are the Pros and Cons of this neighbourhood and the Airbnb location to help you finalize your decision on whether you want to stay here or not.

Benefits:
1. Mary’s House is officially accredited by the government and is operating legally
2. A super-friendly male host who would help you as much as he can
3. 5-15 mins walking to the subway station (Jegi Station 1 and 2)
4. Close-by Gyeongdong Yangnyeong Market
5. Residential area. Very quiet and relatively safe.
6. Breakfast & free WiFi available
7. Washing machines, dryers, TV, laptop and kitchen are free to use but are shared items.
8. The neighbourhood has a surveillance system and active police monitoring
9. The host will fetch you during your arrival to the subway station on the first day
10. Great for cat-lovers!

Disadvantages:
1. It’s on the 4th floor and you need to climb stairs. Avoid heavy luggage. Best for
sightseers with fewer baggage items, not great for shoppers like me.
2. Other guests may cause some inconvenience to you but not at the hosts’ expense.
3. Only 1 bathroom available and you will have to work around to get your turn. You also
only have a maximum of 30 mins per session.
4. The host will not fetch you back to the subway station on the last day.
5. Cats may not be around whenever you are.

CAT PHOTOS!

As promised, here are the cat photos that I’ve taken during my stay. 

Day 1: First arrival

Mary quickly greeted us and immediately showed us affection even though we don’t know her at all.

Day 2: Woken by the morning

I heard a lot of meows and decided to peek outside. Turns out Mary was asking for attention.

Apparently, she wants to be in the house.

We went out and came back. Then we noticed that the cats are in the living room.
Look at Mary still wanting my attention uwu.

The other cat is a shy cat. It doesn’t approach anyone but will not attack anyone that approaches it too. However, it usually will run away when you walk towards him.

As Mary was closer to me, I gave her attention instead.

Look at this cute princess.

She’s so pretty, I don’t understand why she was abandoned.
Ooof, her princess attitude starts to come out.

This is her saying that she wants me to leave now.

Probably announcing that it’s her nap time since she yawned. Ok.

Day 3: Again by the morning

“Human, let me out. I’m cute”

Day 4: Shocked by the view

This morning, we didn’t get meowed by Mary. We went out and came back to see this.

He’s too derp, I don’t know what to say.

Here’s another cat that is usually hard to spot. It loves being in the owner’s room.
(I zoomed in close enough to not show more of the room in respect of the hosts)

Day 5 : What is this?

Another quiet morning. We came back at night and saw derpie sitting like this more at least half an hour. Seriously, what’s the matter, kiddo?

Day 6: WHAT IS THIS?!

Ah. I heard a meow but…. something is wrong?!??!!?

What happened to her fur?!??!???!

The derpie cat was just… lingering around and watching…

Day 7: Poor darlings

Look at her she looks so angryyyy!

Is this how girls look like when they’re angry but sleepy and then went to sleep?

Came back during the afternoon and she was around. Poor girl got shaved.

Herro fat- I mean, black-white cat.
He doesn’t want my attention so, I’ll pass.

Maryyyyyy. Mary is so angry, she doesn’t want anyone to touch herrrrr.

On the other side, the orange derp cat was walking by.

Look at his blur and derpie face 😂 so cute

Mary, on the other hand was like: STOP LOOKING AT ME!

Poor child also followed me to the kitchen when I wanted to get a drink.

There was a decor so I guess I’ll give you an IG-worthy photoshoot?

I guess she agreed because she ended up posing.

Walking back to our room and these two fellas are just hanging around.

Day 8: Bye meowy

Woken up by her meows again. It’s nice to be able to hear it before we go.

She can see you if you stand close enough but if you go a little further back, she won’t be able to. It’s like you disappeared in thin air.

She’ll do stunts too.

Went out and came back for our luggage. I saw her around so I took a few last photos of her before I go. She let me pet for a bit too. Gawd, I do miss this princess.

That’s all for this post!
Do check out my other posts!
You may find them helpful 😀

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