Posted by: bodking | January 16, 2011

Korea Gets Cold in the Winter

Nothing too surprising here really.  It’s winter and it’s cold.  Before I came here I knew that the winters in Korea got cold.
One thing that’s been interesting to see in Korea is how consistent the weather within each season.  Once spring hit, it was warm and sunny every single day.  In the summer it was 85 with a 25% chance of rain everyday.  In the fall, it seemed like for two months it was 60 degrees and sunny.

Now it’s the winter.  It’s snowed maybe  10 times since winter began but it never snows a lot.  Just a light sprinkling of snow that goes on the snow that’s already on the ground.  Once it’s on the ground it will never get shovelled.  People on the sidewalks will pound it down with their feet until it’s solid ice.  It seem inexplicable that heavily trafficked areas are solid ice like that but they are.

People do slip and fall.  I have to go to the hospital regularly to see a doctor, and on the latest visit I noticed a huge uptick in the number of people with broken bones.  Like I said – it’s pretty inexplicable.  When you do see someone with a shovel, it’s some sad looking thing that could barely cut the dirt in an herb garden much less clear a sidewalk of heavy snow.

The best thing about Korea in the winter is the heating systems in the apartments.  They use a floor heating system called ondol.  The floors get really warm.  Lots of the restaurants here make you take your shoes off and sit on the floor.  I never really liked this until the temperature started to fall below freezing and I was able to sit with my butt on the hot floor.  It’s really not bad.


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