Thursday, December 30, 2010


It finally snowed in Bucheon. It’s not much snow, maybe seven or eight centimeters tops, but for literally the second time in my life, I’m pretty excited about it.

Let me start out by apologizing for my poorly-timed blogging hiatus. Remember that respiratory whatnot I had back during Chuseok? Well it’s never really fully gone away, and the week before Christmas was the worst I’d felt in a long time. I spent an entire day in bed unable to move, my head hurt so bad. If I had such a thing as a sick day, I would have used it, but of course, why would my hagweon that prides itself on being the overachieving academy open when all the other academies are closed give its teachers time off? In short, I felt just terrible for most of the Christmas season, and I have come to the conclusion that I will probably continue to feel more or less sick for the remainder of my time in Korea…

Regardless, you know what’s exciting about Christmas? When I woke up Christmas morning, sniffly as ever and thousands of miles away from the family I usually spend my Christmas with, I still had that Christmas morning feeling. I’m not sure how best to describe the Christmas morning feeling, maybe warm, maybe childlike excitement, or maybe almost fluffy even? Pretend you know what I’m talking about, even if I’m still struggling to find the right words to describe it. (And of course what added to my Christmas away from home was the overwhelming number of letters and gifts people went to the effort to ship all the way around the world for little old me! I feel so loved, thank you all!)

But let’s return to the topic at hand, snow. It would be an understatement to say that I merely dislike winter. My negative feelings for the season are actually so strong that they overflow into the adjacent season of fall as well, the dread of my impeding least favorite season marring my opinion of the otherwise prettiest season of the year. It’s bad, I find every excuse I can to not go outside for a good three months of the year. Granted, I come from northeast Ohio, where lake effect snow and getting several feet dropped in a single day is not uncommon, but still. I hate it all.

Yet, when I looked out my giant wall-sized window and saw that it was snowing outside, I couldn’t help but smile. Call me sentimental for the winters I’ve grown accustomed to, but I couldn’t wait to go outside and run around in it! Let me emphasize how strange this is for me, this is literally the second time in my life I’d had this feeling. I distinctly remember, the first was in 2007 when I lived in Austinburg. It was a lazy day of winter vacation, it had just snowed, the sun was out, and everything outside was just sparkling. Typical me, I decided to take some pictures...

And with that photo shoot, I can honestly say January 2007 was the last time I enjoyed a day of winter.

... Until now. Who knows, maybe it's just the Ohioan in me that no matter how much I hate winter and everything the season entails (namely, snow and being cold), I'm supposed to be excited to see the white fluffy stuff. I'm lucky this year, Korea doesn't get nearly as much as snow as I'm used to, so I'm only trudging through maybe 8 centimeters now (I'm trying to figure out this whole metric thing the rest of the world uses...) on my lengthy trek to work (next door).

Per usual, I decided to spend the past few mornings taking long walks in the snow and (you guessed it) taking pictures...

I guess I've never really experienced, nay, appreciated snow in an urban setting before, but I think it's really cool! Very different than the snow I'm used to back home in my natural country bumpkin Austinburg. I took most of these in one of the big parks near where I live, which has a huge frozen lake (at present, anyways) standing amongst all sorts of traditional Korean relics (like the folk straw-roofed hut, with icicles) surrounded on all sides by uber-modern apartment complexes. It's a pretty awesome part of Bucheon, and I really like it... (even more so when it's not freezing outside!)...

So there you have it. For literally the second time in my life, I can say I enjoyed a snowy day. Korea, what are you doing to me!?!

-Christine -

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