As is tradition, I stay up far too late. After a busy day of goodbyes and printing things and dropping Soul off to her new owner/catsitter (depending how things turn out) I put on tunes and start packing around 11pm.

I eat the remains of the fridge, even cracking into the cabbage kimchi I was given a month or more ago. It’s been sitting there for a little while because for me, unlike many Korean’s that I know, one kimchi dose a day is usually enough, and breakfast and dinner I can suffice without it.

The absence of my four-legged friend is eerie, and noises outside the window at 3am send me into an almost paralytic state of fear. I realise I haven’t really lived alone for ten months now. It’s not that Soul the scardy cat was ever going to be much protection from any actual murderers who managed to break into my well-defended, ground-floor apartment, but she was, it seems, a good antidote for the imaginary ones.

It crosses my mind that I could phone Mr Ha, my kind and fatherly landlord who I’m sure would come sleepily running to scope the perimeter of my house. I decide not to be ridiculous and lay the last of my holiday clothes on the ondol-heated floor to dry.

I remind myself of how crazily safe this country is, drink a final cup of tea and write a list of things to remember tomorrow, starting with ‘phone charger’.  Then I check for people under the bed and sleep with a knife next to my pillow.

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