Of all the people who have been a great help to EunBong and myself since coming back to Korea, our real-estate agent has been among the most helpful. When most people wouldn’t have wanted to deal with us at all, he and his wife helped us get two apartments with hardly a cent in our pockets.
The difficult part about getting set up in Korea is the huge deposit required to move in. A place in a good neighborhood is about 10 000 dollars. Where we are now, a foot steps into the countryside is still about 5000 dollars. He helped us find a place that only required 3000 dollars and he convinced the landlord to let us pay it a bit at a time. This month, he even told us that he spoke to the landlord and told her that he thought we’ve had a hard time lately so she said we didn’t have to pay the deposit until next month, just the rent. Basically it means that I just have to send the same amount to Visa instead, but it still lets me breathe easy for this month, and get out of the house on the weekends!
When we first dealt with them over the phone, EunBong was certain they must be Buddhist. When we visited their office, she was surprised to see a crucifix hanging above their desk. I have to say, there are many pushy, rather annoying missionaries on the streets here, and there are weekly knocks on the door from people tell you that only they have the “truth” and that you must attend their church. There have also been some disconcerting events in Korea, preachers who burn down temples, or even kill Buddhist with absolutely no feeling that they’ve done anything wrong. EunBong usually gets nervous when I get into debates with the people at the door, she’d prefer I just close the door. Anyway, it’s refreshing to meet people like our real-estate agents, to show us that the foundation of any religion is to be compassionate to others. Unfortunately, our labels tend to get in the way at times.