Perhaps you've been wondering about winter in Seoul.
Well, it is December 11th and so far we've gotten two small snowfalls; both have burned off. I'd say we've made 3/4 inch total. I know our friends in the Midwest are bracing for a second snow of 6 - 10 inches. I've seen your pictures; the landscape looks beautiful.
Signs of winter are much more subtle here. The temps have lingered at about freezing the past few days. But so far we've seen more of 40's than 30's (Fahrenheit). We've secured our winter gear and wear it faithfully when we venture out, but so far, no biting wind to deal with.
I'd have to say, I'm liking winter so far! Also, not driving has its advantages. Someone else has to worry about slick roads. This brings me to the first of two stories.
The other night on the day of a snowfall equaling about 1/2 inch, our family missed the school bus home. It had snowed that day and there was a bit of slush on the road. Our school sits quite a ways up a small mountain/large hill. If we ever hit icy weather the hill will be quite treacherous and maybe impossible to mount. But at this time - just a little slush. ANYHOW, I asked the guard at the guardhouse to call a taxi (something I've done many times with no problem). He looks at me and says, "No. No taxi. Impossible." What? Apparently the taxis must not want to drive up our hill in the slush.
I thought it was funny, coming from Wisconsin winters.
Second story. This is a cultural difference we've noticed. It has to do with the heating. At our school, the rooms are cooled and heated individually. This means that in hot weather the rooms cool down but the halls are sticky and hot. Likewise, in the winter the rooms are warmed but the halls and skybridges are cold! Result? The students always wear their coats. They wear them through the halls and into the classes and during class - even though the room is comfortable. Interestingly, this spills over into winter fashion here. Cool long boots are all the rage as are circle scarves that are constantly worn around the women's and men's necks. I find it interesting that the way heating works around here drives the fashion!
See the accompanying post to enjoy a bit of video of the winter snow at our school. Winter wonderland!