My Neighbour’s trash

I have never seen my next door neighbour.

But interestingly, almost on a daily basis we see stacks of delivery cartons and trash left outside their apartment door. This is true for other apartments in the building as well.

The trash, however doesn’t contain kitchen wastes! There are separate waste disposal units for that in the basement. Most of the time what one comes across lying haphazardly on the floor outside apartment doors are these empty cardboard boxes that their deliveries came in.

Ever since we moved here, I have been curious about the constant ebb and flow of delivery guys in our building at all times of the day, everyday, pushing hand trolleys stacked with cardboard boxes that they keep unloading at every floor. So what are people buying all the time? And why?

neighbour's trash

Turns out, South Korea is home to the fastest internet on the planet. Nearly 100% of households here have internet connection. Combine that with excellent service from Korea Post and you will see why this country has such rapidly growing e-commerce market, which is currently 7th largest in the world and 3rd largest in the Asia-Pacific region.

From golfball to a toilet seat cover, you can buy almost anything on the internet (Gmarket and Coupang are two very popular online shopping websites in Korea) and have it delivered to your doorstep inside those ubiquitous brown cardboard boxes I always see outside our neighbour’s door.

Once in a while discarded household items like a TV, a hoover, giant ceramic vases – things too big for a trash can but small enough to not block the hallway make an appearance. They are of course disposed off by the cleaning staff in a day or two.

Of all the trash I have seen outside apartment B1302’s door, this lot has got to be the most intriguing, hence the drawing! That tall structure I recently learnt from a pet owner is a ‘cat tree’ for a pet cat to play, exercise, relax and sleep on.

I may not know my neighbour from Adam but at least now I know he/she has a cat.


6 thoughts on “My Neighbour’s trash

  1. Gina

    I too see the delivery man come and go on almost every second day doing deliveries for the neighbours. Often times they leave the delivery on the matt at their front doors and I think, what a stupid thing to do, like anyone could take it way if they wanted to, but mostly, people are honest and don’t touch it. I guess buying online goods etc., are just as common here in Australia as they are in your neck of the woods. 🙂

    1. Somali Roy Post author

      Yes exactly, it’s becoming more and more common. Someone recently moved in on our floor and judging from the boxes stacked outside their door, they seem to have bought their furniture and entire home furnishings without stepping out of the apartment! It’s amazing!

  2. Cora Brown

    I recognized that cat tree right away. Getting rid of it might mean that your neighbor no longer has a cat. Thanks for another fascinating snapshot of life in Korea.

    1. Somali Roy Post author

      Ha ha! Thanks for saying that. Glad I am able to share my discoveries as I continue to make them. Sketching has proved to be an excellent way for exploring and understanding my surroundings.


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