First of all, winters in Korea are no-joke cold. Maybe I’m just biased because I had the luxury of living in a snow-free environment in Texas for the last 13 years. Anyway, this is my first blog to really vent about Korea…enjoy?
Places which are Unexpectedly and Uncomfortably Cold
- Outside: Obviously it’s cold out there–but I hate that I have to deal with it–waiting outside for the bus, walking to everywhere I need to go. 5-9F in the morning is NO FUN especially with ice on the roads and a strong breeze.
- My apartment: So I was like all gun-ho about saving money and sparingly running my gas (for the heated pipes running through the floors to warm up the apartment). Well after arriving home to about a 50F apartment (about 10C) for the first month, I realized I couldn’t tolerate it any more. I still kept it at a respectable 60 when I was away, but it made for about a $150 bill.
- My shower: In line with the apartment, my apartment bathroom is FREAKING COLD. It’s like the tile in there sucks away all the heat. And then for, you know, whatever reason when I tried to take hot showers it was like the hot water was saying–hell no–and my showers turned into 10 minute lukewarm showers. Luckily, I think I’ve figured out to ensure a hot shower for at least 30 minutes and have managed to keep my bathroom at a more tolerable temperature.
- The Bus: Every morning I take a bus to school. Due to the fact that it’s the first bus of the morning, the heater has yet to kick on. It’s a similar situation when I go back home; the heaters barely work and the bus is only marginally warmer than outside. How do I deal? I sit immediately behind the heater (it’s a floor heater) where at least I can keep my feet warm. My hands are in 1-2 pairs of gloves and stuffed into my pockets, I have a beanie on my head and a thick scarf wrapped around twice around my face so only my eyes are the visible part of my skin.
- School hallways/classrooms: The school hallways aren’t heated and most of the time there’s at least one door open to the outside standing wide open to let in the ‘fresh air’. (*roll eyes*) The teacher room is slightly heated (but not when I arrive so not for at least the first hour or two). Well the heaters sound like they’re working but usually it feels like its to little avail. On top of this, my desk is beside the sliding door to the hallway which constantly opens/closes (or remains open thanks to some inconsiderate coworkers) which means I freeze at my desk. How have I dealt? I wear 3 pairs of leggings/stockings under my pants, 2 sweaters, a down jacket, and a light throw blanket. ^.^ oh yeah
- The school bathroom: So in most cases, the above-mentioned places can be pretty bearable: put on more clothes and call it good. HOWEVER, the school bathroom is like walking into a freezer. Since I’m a girl, I don’t have the luxury of just unzipping my pants, whipping it out, and having minimal skin-to-air exposure. Instead, I have to bare all and expose my butt and legs to the 15-25F bathroom (below 0C). I hate submitting myself to this torture 3 times a day.
Well, I think that’s going to end my rant and hopefully my winter (two-three months) of suffering is coming to an end. The air is slightly warmer: it’s finally above freezing! So, I’m looking forward to my weeks being more bearable and then I can enjoy Korea again.