Warning, if you have a week stomach and you don't like dirt and grime, don't look at these pictures.  This might make your stomach turn more than the picture of Boy 3's broken arm

The car below is a hooptie - aka - 'old beat up car' - we bought this hooptie right after arriving in Korea and although it has only had 1 owner and it has less than 60,000 miles and  we got a great deal on it      -     I don't think this bad boy has E-V-E-R been cleaned and it is 12 years old. 

When we told the lady we were going to buy the van and ask her when it would be available she said "now" and handed me the keys.  Whoa....wait a minute...don't you want to clean it out?  She looked in the glove box pulled a few things out and said 'OK, it's yours'. 

You can't imagine the crap we found in this car....a pair of shoes, TAX PAPERS from 2008, GPS, compass, poncho, lots of paperwork, big metal pole thing and TONS OF TRASH  (not that the other things I listed weren't trash)IT WAS DISGUSTING, BUT CHEAP; plus it had low miles, a new battery, new tires & snow chains.  However the steering wheel was so gross that  we had to buy a steering wheel cover immediately just so we could drive the thing. 

Finally, after 4 magic erasers, 1/2 a bottle of bleach, armor all, windex 2 rolls of paper towels, shampooing the heck out of the seats, floors and ceiling,  8 hours of cleaning (all together) we can finally get in it without cringing. 

Everyone in the family pitched in to help. Girl said this is the natsiest car we have every owned.  I'll give her that one.
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scrubbing, scrubbing & more scrubbing
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See those lines in the seats? That is just from VACUUMING the dirt out - those are DIRT LINES....YUCK...
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This NASTY water is from the DRIVERS SEAT and ceiling!
And here are a few before and after photos for your entertainment:
(This is where you might want to stop looking if you have a weak stomach!)
Now that she is clean, she is a pretty sweet ride. (You know, for a minivan.)
7/6/2012 11:33:18 pm

she's a beauty!

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7/7/2012 07:59:49 am

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Alissa
7/7/2012 05:00:31 am

I've been trying to figure out what the next couple years of life will be like for me by searching the internet. I finally came across your pages and have been enthralled. You see, I too am a wife and mother, but also a soldier. I've lived in Europe, many places in the US, and have been deployed, all without a family. Our move to Korea this fall will be our first major PCS. I would love to hear some of your insights about housing (on or off post??), schools and child care (my children will be 5.5, 3.5, and 0.5), and getting around with kids. I'm no where near finished reading through your adventures from your last tour, but I'll get there!

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Trish
7/7/2012 08:05:44 am

Oh, keep reading! Do you know where in Korea you will be stationed? We live on Yongsan and we live on Post. I think living on post with children is key. All the neighborhoods have parks and they have instant friends to play with. (If we didn't have children we would live on the economy) We have DOD schools on post...I think they are good - way better than the schools we came from in Texas. There are 2 preschools on post, the CDC and Mustard Seed, both are good - there are also good English Preschools off post that send busses to pick up children on post. If you have specific questions plesae feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer. I do have pictures of housing on the blog somewhere & when I finish decorating I am going to put up before and after photos of our house.

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Alissa
7/9/2012 11:44:42 am

I will be assigned to USFK HQ Staff in Yongsan. I'm so tempted to immerse myself in the culture of Korea, but not too sure how the little ones will adapt. Are the schools in the housing areas and in walking distance or do they bus? Are nannies or Au Pairs allowed on post? I'm pretty sure I will have to be at PT well before school starts. Looking forward to seeing your home improvements. Perhaps I will run into you at the commissary!

Trish
7/9/2012 12:23:55 pm

Alissa,
Yes you are ajumma's (as they are called in Korea) are allowed on post and they are everywhere. Most of them are very good and they will clean your house and watch your children. Most Ajumma's here are fantastic.

Schools are within walking distance (in fact everything on post is within walking distance) however they do have buses that run to 2 of the neighborhoods. HOWEVER I just thought of this - it also depends on rank. If you are Major or above you live on Yongsan, Captain and below live in Hannam Village and most everything is a bus ride from Hannam. Hannam does have a commissary, pool and a few other things.

Becky
7/7/2012 06:38:42 am

I know who to call the next time I need my car cleaned really good!

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Loretta
7/7/2012 06:39:49 am

Love your new car and your willingness to see past the grime and put your elbow grease into it! Looks great!

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Erica
7/7/2012 06:57:04 am

I love it ! ! !

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Deena
7/7/2012 06:57:52 am

Maybe try some RUBBING alcohol on the seats if you still have some grime on them. You use a spray bottle and use it straight and a white cloth and you just spray and then wipe off and see if that gets more stubborn dirt off it. It was a pinterest thing I read about that I did on my sofa and VOILA! It looked like brand new it was amazing! Plus the RN in
Me was like DISINFECTANT!!!! ;) you guys did a great job!!:)

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Tammy
7/7/2012 07:28:31 am

That is definitely a Cinderella story!

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Trish
7/7/2012 07:59:18 am

I agree! ;o)

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Cindy
7/7/2012 07:13:11 pm

Sometimes you gotta use some serious elbow grease to get a good deal!

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