Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Waking up to the next ice age

I KNEW the temperature had gone from warm one day to skin-numbingly cold the next because of two texts telling me so that morning. Ah, the Korean girl SMS weather service. And for free too.

I also knew because I woke up genuinely cold for time first since coming east. A 20 degree plunge in a single night. How could such a drastic change even happen? It was like God had burned his toe playing keepy-uppy with the sun and blasted into the next galaxy in a rage. This wasn't a change of season - it was a climate shift.

When you are Irish you assume that getting on a plane automatically entails going somewhere warmer. It is just the way it is. There are countries that receive sunlight for the growth of plant life and production of vitamin D in people - and then there is Ireland. Snow in Scandinavia? Urban myth. The Swedes only pretend it gets cold so everybody won't come and live there. There is only so much room in paradise.

So I came to Korea without a single jumper, jacket or even thick T-shirt. And until this very day, that decision had served me well. But now, in a single night, my entire wardrobe (well my metaphorical one. I might get a literal one for Christmas) has been rendered unfit for purpose. A trip to Home Plus and its wonderful talking aisles is in order.

There is one spectacle which winter's sudden arrival has me looking forward to. Something to warm the heart against the cold. I've been told that Arctic conditions are no obstacle to Korean women's steely determination to keep up with the fashion.

Girls. Heels. Ice.

I'll pop the corn in the hot glow of my schadenfreude.


  1. I told you about Sweden. Yeh, the girls are unbelievably beautiful, but you'd liken it more to hell than paradise on account of your lack of shallowness. I could have more meaningful conversations with a parrot.

    As well as that, or, rather, as a result of that, the lack of intellectual stimulation will decay your personality. But, that's just me. If it sounds good to you - go ahead.

    In my opinion, recalling the maxim 'suffering builds character', I'd say Sweden is Disneyland, or, as you said, Paradise.

  2. "I'll pop the corn in the hot glow of my schadenfreude", haha, nice. :)
    I'm very much enjoying your blog as I prepare for my upcoming visit to Seoul. Nice to have some cultural insights ahead of time. Keep up the good work!

  3. Garbhan, aside from being tongue in cheek in general, I was in particular being facetious about Sweden. It was a potshot at how every conversation about how Ireland should improve involves a reverential mention of Sweden and how we should emulate her. I don't think Sweden is paradise on account of me never having been there. Plus, I likely wouldn't be able to stick it out there a second with my much-more-to-the-right politics.

    Charlene, why thank you. And what shall be bringing you to the "land of morning clam"?