Tricky Thermostat

Of all the things I could write about Korea, this was not something I imagined being a topic, but yet something that confuses me daily; how to work the thermostat.

At home you can turn the dial and just put a pointer on your desired temperature on an old style thermostat or punch in the numbers of the degree you want on a new fangled digital thermostat. If its fancy you can maybe even set it to kick on and off at various times of the day knowing that you're at work or sleeping, right? But overall, keeping a place warm/cold is pretty simple.

Here I'm finding its a bit of a daily adventure. First, the little box on the wall is in Korean. Luckily I'm one of the few I know that have it also in English. Second, it's in Celsius, which for an American always provides a bit of a problem. Third, there are quite a few buttons on it.

This box contains your heat and your hot water and both cannot be on at the same time. The red button in my case is the hot water, and I must turn the dial all the way to 45 degrees celsius, and wait 10 minutes in hopes of having a hot shower - which proves difficult in the winter time. I must also remember when I leave the shower to turn the heat back on by pressing the "thermo" button. If I leave the apartment I must hit the Outing Button, and if I'm sleeping obviously hit the sleep button. I think the only difference is the Sleep option will turn the heat back on after 8 hours. But all of these become null and void if the temperature is above room temperature.

Basically there are days I have woken up to sweltering heat/freezing cold and come home to the same thing. While heated floors are kind of nice, sometimes I miss the good ol'steam heat from the archaic radiators in those tiny New York apartments...