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Published: April 19th 2009
Spring in Gangwon-Do is definately here and while the flowers bloom the insects awaken my smile and mood is elevating daily. The long Korean winter had a huge effect on my motivation and mood in general and I had almost forgotten what it felt like to walk outside without a coat and scarf! I finally opened the box of summer clothes I had been storing under my bed for months and months and swaped those for the scarfs, hats, ear warmers and knee high socks! It felt good to pack away winter - at least for now. I am definately a warm weather creature - I'd much rather be too hot than too cold.
Koreans are very interesting to watch when it comes to weather and temperature. During winter they pump the heating 24/7 and the students sit in class wearing blankets. Now its warm they complain how hot it is (20 degrees) and that they cant even get the energy to sit up because they are dying of heat exhaustion! The one boy who wanted the fan on because he was so hot is the same boy who refused to honor my suggestion of removing his blazer and pullover??!
The Korean women on the other hand who kindly drive me home after work are now wearing a full face mask with holes for eyes, nose & mouth and a very large visor. My co teacher kindly advised me that "the sun is a short-cut to aging." Once I had stifled the laughter that was desperate to explode I nodded and realised that as they are all spending huge amounts on the creams to avoid the wrinkles they should at least assist and cover up as much as possible. Just makes me laugh how they are so desperate to avoid sun whereas most people I know at home are slapping on the baby oil and running to a flat spot as soon as there is a glimmer of sun!
Along with the arrival of spring a new member of my household has also arrived. A minature Dacshund named Diesel. After joining the volunteer group in Korea (www.animalrescuekorea.org) I had aggreed to foster a dog and was all prepared for this. Diesel was in a pound due for euthanisia the following day. Three weeks later I am totally in love with him and I am going to be one of
those people who foster but cannot give up and jsut keep forever. He is a great addition to my life and walking him is a pleasure. I am not so sure that come next winter I will feel the same though!
As my time in Korea builds up, meaning the time I must leave draws closer the decision to stay for another year was made. Luckily my friend who came with me has also decided the same thing which means another year of her fantastic cooking! I am happy I have decided to stay but the one negative part - coming down to the weather again, is that I will have another 5 month Korean winter to contend with...
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