Goshitel's a pretty fun word to pronounce in a bad American accent. So what is a goshitel? Simply put, a goshitel is a cozy little closet that some people call "home" and others call "storage space." More nicely and appropriately put, it's an inexpensive living alternative similar to a dorm, usually for university students looking to get their study on.
I can't speak for goshitels or goshiwons in general, but from my personal experience (see video above), it was really clean and well-kept, always well-stocked with free rice, eggs, kimchi, and ramen, and aside from the occasional slamming door, very quiet. I definitely didn't get that homey community feel I got from my hasuk-jip, but I did run into a couple nice people in the kitchen-dining-laundry room from time to time. And you know what? It was kind of neat being able to reach everything I needed within comfortable arms' length. :)
The reason I moved into one for a few months last summer was simple - I wanted air conditioning! My friend scared me into believing the horrors of living AC-less in Korea (dying of heat and being bitten alive by mosquitoes), and I decided straightaway that I wouldn't be able to handle anything remotely close to that. We went searching for an AC-ed hasuk, but none of them met my cleanliness standards given the short turn around time. I was slightly worried that I'd develop claustrophobia, but surprisingly, I rarely felt that way, maybe because I broke up weekends by crashing at relatives' and tended to not stay in the room for long periods at a time. :)
P.S. In case you're curious, here's the "well-being tel" I bunked up in: http://www.id.wbtel.net/ My room went for about 350,000 won, but it was window-less (yeah, I don't recommend that), while some of the ones with bathrooms in the unit were as high as five or six hundred thousand. On a side note, when one of my friends came to visit, she stayed in a room with a bathroom, and unfortunately, the ventilation wasn't so great, which kind of gave the room an interesting funk. On another note, goshitels are also great low-cost alternatives to hotels, especially if you don't plan on staying inside much - her room cost about $100 for a week!
News bites: December 20, 2014
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