Dec 1, 2012

Winter is Coming

It's getting cold. Really cold.  Wear-long-underwear-every-day kind of cold.

You'd think I'd be used to this, having spent my entire life in exceptionally cold climes. In theory, Seoul and Boston have almost the exact same climate, and neither place gets as cold as my hometown of Bozeman, Montana. But for some reason, I cannot get warm here.

Maybe it's the fact that my classroom gets one hour of heat a day. My day revolves around the little jingle the heater sings when it turns on. No matter what we're doing, Coteacher and I will stop and do a little happy dance when we hear that sound. This includes times when it happens in the middle of class. Then, an hour later, when it makes the sad little "I'm turning off now" jingle, Coteacher and I will stop, look up, and sigh in unison, resigning ourselves to knowing that we will only get colder for the rest of the day. 

It doesn't even matter what I wear to school these days because I never take off my coat. I could wear the same thing every single day, and nobody would ever see it. I probably could get away with not wearing a bra. Just sayin. It may happen. 

One thing I do wear to school every day is long underwear. My collection of high tech long johns is quickly becoming extensive and varied. Koreans take their long johns very seriously. Every major department store has a giant section devoted to long underwear in every shape, style and color. In fact, later today I'm heading out to purchase some more.

Another thing that contributes to the unending cold is my bathroom. For some reason, it is an absolute ice box. All the time. I keep the door shut so it doesn't make the rest of my apartment cold.  I'm starting to think the real purpose of those ubiquitous shower shoes is really just so that Koreans don't have to stand on the frigid tile floor. Unfortunately, a frigid bathroom makes it almost impossible to have a nice, hot shower. Even if I turn up the hot water, I never stop being a little bit cold.

Thank God for my ondol, which does make my apartment quite toasty. But that takes a long time to heat up, and while I love my giant windows, they mean I have to have the ondol on pretty much all the time if I don't want the temperature to drop into the 60s.

I'm a bit nervous about what my hot water bill will be this month. Oh well.

I keep telling myself that it really isn't that bad, yet. It's only dipped below freezing in the last few days, and I know colder times are ahead.

As my friends and I have taken to saying in our best Ned Stark (from Game of Thrones) voice, winter is coming.

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