Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Door Story or, Let's Start This Trip Out Right

Alright, finally, travelogue time! Mom and Leah arrived on Thursday afternoon. Since my apartment is tiny and Mom's best friend from when we lived in Dallas happens to live in the same suburb of Seoul as me (small world, right?), while we were in Korea, Mom stayed with Shaunna and Leah stayed with me. The first night, we ate dinner in Shaunna's neighborhood, then Leah and I headed back to my apartment for the night. I let her have the first shower, because I'm a gracious host like that, and also I had a suitcase of goodies to paw through.

Now, because of the sink-shower contraption, my bathroom door repeatedly gets wet and over time has warped so it no longer fits properly in the door frame. You can mostly shut the door, but it doesn't latch. I normally just leave the door cracked and don't worry about it, but Leah pulled it all the way shut, and then, after her shower, couldn't get the door open. We yanked and shoved and attempted to remove the door hinges to no avail. After a good fifteen minutes of trying, we figured out the problem was that the deadlatch (the medal rod that actually keeps the door shut) had separated from rest of the doorknob. Shoving and pushing wasn't going to work; short of dismantling the doorknob, Leah wasn't getting out of my bathroom.

Leah: Moooooooooommy!
Cait: I've had you in my care for an hour and already I've gotten you locked in a bathroom. HOW IS THIS MY LIFE?! I AM NOT ACTUALLY A TERRIBLE BIG SISTER, I SWEAR!

I ran downstairs to get the security guard/adjoshi-who-is-always-hanging-out-with-the-building-manager-and-does-maintenance. While my Korean has improved a lot in the past months, at no point in my studies have I learned the phrase "Help, my younger sister is trapped naked in my bathroom. Can you get her out?" (An additional complication of the sink-shower is that you can't bring clothes or a towel into the bathroom with you lest they get soaked.) I did, however, manage to say "Help me, sister in bathroom door no" and beckoned for the guard to follow me upstairs. He fiddled around unsuccessfully with the doorknob for a bit while I hovered behind him, poised to throw Leah a towel should he manage to open the door. After ten or so minutes, he left in search of someone with a bigger toolbox, telling me he would be back shortly.

While we waited, I sat outside the bathroom, chatting with Leah (who was punch-drunk with adrenaline and exhaustion) and worrying about how many old Korean dudes were going to see my underage sister naked, when I noticed the slit at the bottom of the door. Mayhaps, I though, it would be big enough to slip a towel through, or at least some underwear. Turns out, it WAS big enough and by the time the second maintenance man was fetched, Leah was fully dressed and had even fixed her hair. Aided by several large and impressive looking tools, the maintenance guys were able to rip apart my door knob and after nearly an hour of her being stuck in the bathroom, I got my sister back. THANK GOD!

An annotated after shot of my bathroom door.

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