We have had some weather since I arrived in Korea in April. I have been through a drought, a heat wave and four typhoons. I am not used to typhoons for sure. The first two I am more than used to though. In Portland, I had to deal with fog, inches of snow and days of constant rain. I loved it. Here it is different each week.
Drought and Heat WavesWhen I first arrived in Korea I would see a great deal of haze every morning. It was rarely cloudy and it never rained. In fact, there was a heat wave for nearly a month that sapped my energy each day. The drought was the worst in a century apparently. I lived in a drought most of my life while in El Paso and Las Cruces! I thought I was getting away from that!
I generally dislike the heat and sun. When it is sunny everyday I start to go crazy. Being outside with the sun beating down on me, drains me of all my energy. All I want to do is sleep. It is not fun. Dumb sun. Some people, however, feel quite differently...
Next up on my tour of different weather: rain. I totally know how to deal with rain thanks to living in Portland, Oregon. The rain was not really any worse than anywhere else I have rained. A day or two would be filled with rain, on again, off again. No big deal. I had read on a person's blog before I moved here (I can not remember what it was and they had not updated it in two years) that the rain came down like a angry waterfall. I did have to get an umbrella though. Jackie gave it to me.
|It's just water, really.|
People here freak out about the rain though! Umbrellas come out when a cloud rolls by. It is crazy. I enjoy walking in the rain. Unless it is pouring, there really is not a reason to avoid a light sprinkle. Maybe I am missing something? Is the rain full of acid? Oh, geez! (I doubt it)
Then came the typhoons. The first one was nothing bad. I heard about it the day before, but nobody seemed to care much. It dumped a decent amount of rain on us. Still, if nobody had told me it had been a typhoon, I would not have suspected anything.
The second one hit as we were leaving Jeju Island. The wind blew pretty strong even before the storm hit land. The whole half-day we spent there during the storm was filled with heavy rains. Still, it only delayed our flight for 45 minutes.
The third one was supposed to be the storm to end all storms. Typhoon Bolaven caused both mine and Jackie's schools to close. My boss said it was the first time since she had worked for POLY that they had canceled classes. That is a big deal. They have storms, snow and rain ones, and do not close; and yet this storm was bad enough to close? Whoa. I headed to Jackie's the night it was to his and we made sure to have water and food just in case.
As it turns out, the storm caused damage to Jeju Island to the south, the coastal region and North Korea, but Seoul lucked out. Jackie and I ended up watching movies and relaxing. The wind was definately stronger than usual, the clouds looked more menacing. The rain was only slightly more than normal and even stopped completely by 2 pm.
The next typhoon, however, was a much bigger one than I had experienced. Typhoon Sanba came out of nowhere. The day before it hit Korea, I had gone to get some snacks before work downstairs at a corner store I frequent frequently. They have a television across from the cash register and above the heads of most people, that the man and woman who, I assume, own the place watch all day. While I was purchasing my orange juice and water, the man, sporting a flabergasted look, did not take his eyes off the television. That was strange, so I looked back and, wouldn't you know it, a beautiful Korean woman was pointing out a gigantic typhoon heading straight for us. I went into work and looked it up. It was something called a "super typhoon." I do not know about you, but that sounds pretty damn terrifying.
|Too much rain and wind to open up the door this time.|
It ended up being very strong. Luckily, the worst of the storm hit while I was at work. All day long I could hear the wind whipping the windows and whistling throught the alleys while the rain pounded everything in sight. One of the windows during my second first grade class started leaking in about eight places. Little Bori, one of my favorite students, ended up getting water splashed on him. I moved the desks and, later, a man came in and assesed the damage. I am pretty sure it has been fixed.
Since then it has been mostly sunny, though it rained yesterday for a few hours. The temperatures have dropped to highs in the upper-60s to the low-70s. It is nice. At night it cools down quickly. It seems like right after the sun sets it is in the low-60s. And the lows are in the low-50s.
I like it. The city does not smell nearly as bad as it did during the summer. I can sleep better at night when it is cool or cold. It is more relaxing. Plus, it reminds me of high school football season when we would be marching in the cold every Friday. Well, maybe it is a month early, but still.
Next up, a real winter.
P.S. This is the first blog post I have written from a coffee shop. Thank you, Twosome Place across the street from Seoul Station!