Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter in Korea

So...I'm a bit frustrated right now and decided to take a break from planning my Lunar New Year vacation and blog.  A vacation should be fun to plan...but unless you are 6 months early in your can be very frustrating in Korea!!  There are so many people trying to fly, take a train, bus, etc... all at the same time.  Koreans tend to be last minute planners and we tend to find out what days our vacation days will be very last minute.  Our Lunar New Year vacation goes from Wednesday, Feb 2 until Sunday, Feb 6.  My plans were to go to Osaka/Kyoto/Hiroshima, Japan...but it looks as though that is not going to happen.  Although online sites say there are tickets, they wait to tell you until you have filled out all your contact and credit card information to tell you...woops, more flights available.  I have played this song and dance game for weeks for hours a day...blah!

Anyways, let's take it from one frustration to another.  Now, if I never complained on this blog...I think we all know I wouldn't be sharing my true feelings.  When living abroad, we all find frustrations in the fact that we think it's done so much better at home or this would never happen at home!

Winter in Korea is one of them!!  I think any Minnesotan would have a tough time moving anywhere that has no common sense when it comes to winter.  Granted, Korea is not used to very much snow.  Korea has always had cold, windy winters...but global warming the last two years has brought a lot of snow to Korea and they clearly don't know what to do with it!

In my neighborhood, all the landlords shovel the snow in front of the apartments and pile the snow in the middle of the road.  Because there are no snowplows that go through, cars have to swerve around these piles.  Eventually the snow packs down into 6 inch thick, super slippery ice.  I think you'd get a ticket at home for doing this.

You can also find people SWEEPING the snow with a BROOM off the sidewalks.
And the worst part...slippery, marble surfaces.  Korea is full of stairways and flooring that is purely slippery marble.  Sure, it looks nice but is not practical for just about any season because of rain and snow.  It makes it incredibly slippery.  Solution?  Occasionally you will find cardboard.  If there is no cardboard in our elevator at school, you can hardly stand up.  I can't take the steps one flight down because it is so unsafe, I have to wait for the elevator every time.  Everyone at school can't seem to figure out why I think this is so terrible...especially in a kindergarten...but it's like this everywhere in Korea...  This is when I say...OHHHH KOREAAAA!!!

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