“You can just let your daughter draw on the walls…”


I have been dreading moving out of this apartment. Not so much because I love this apartment. But because I knew that we would have to pay a lot of money in damages when we left.

Our house in America had painted walls. It was very easy to clean. In Korea, all of our walls have either been stone, concrete, or wallpaper. Only in Korea, it’s not just wallpaper. It’s called a paper wall. So you can’t just replace a small section of the wall. If you have a hole the size of a quarter in your wallpaper, you will have to replace the whole wall. The other reason for this my realtor explained is that Koreans are serious about the aesthetics of their wallpaper. So they make wall paper for a season and then it goes out of print. So next year, you can’t find this year’s wallpaper anywhere.

Mittens was very stressed by our move to Pyeongtaek and took it out on the wallpaper. She scratched the wallpaper near almost every doorway in the house. With the paper walls, that means that almost every room of our house needs new wallpaper. I told our realtor about this before our final inspection so that she could have someone come and estimate how much it would cost to repair before the move out date and they wouldn’t be surprised.

The estimator came and it actually will cost less than I thought to wallpaper most of the apartment. Apparently wallpaper is more expensive in Daegu! One of the walls that needs to be replaced was a Clarissa original instead of Mittens damage. While the estimator (who will be the one who comes back to do the work when we move out) was here, he said to me, “You might as well let your daughter draw on all of the walls that need to be replaced. Just don’t put holes in the walls because that will cost more to fix.”

Clarissa didn’t need to be told twice. She had some fun being allowed to draw on the walls. Though she understands that when we move out of this house, she will no longer be allowed to draw on the walls.

Thankfully, Mittens seems to have grown out of clawing at the wallpaper. But just to be on the safe side, as we are house hunting in America, we will be sure to look for a house without any wallpaper…