Friday, December 18, 2009


My new favorite place to nap is the floor of my apartment.

It's heated, you see, as most residential floors are here in Korea. Back in the day, you know, in the Bronze Age, Koreans figured out that heat rises, and therefore, heat should be transferred from a wood-burning fireplace rooted in the foundation to masonry directly beneath a home. (The oldest heated floor refuse in the world can be found in North Korea, dated 1000 B.C.). Modern floors use electricity/gas to keep your toes warm.

Koreans like to hang out on the warm, warm floor, which makes sense to me--everyone takes their shoes off indoors in Korea (even in restaurants) so there's no risk of getting gross shoe silt all over yourself. Up until us Westerners invaded with our nonsensical beds, most Koreans slept directly on their floors. Which I didn't use to get, until one lazy Sunday when I was slightly hungover, watching a movie on my laptop. I thought, why deal with my rock-hard mattress when
a) the floor is nearly as comfortable
b) the floor is warm through and through
c) it's in closer vicinity to my laptop, anyways
Swaddled in blankets like the baby Jesus and determined to do as little as possible on a day with sub-freezing temperatures outside, I curled up on the floor, anticipating eventual discomfort which would force me onto my slab of a mattress. It was gloriously comfortable, and I angled my laptop screen precisely so the contrast on the screen was perfect from my floor-to-desktop angle.

Three hours later, a text message to my cell phone woke me up. Piece of Evidence #945 That I Was a Cat in a Past Life--I can comfortably nap on the floor. If it's heated, that is.

Lately, I've been eating, writing, typing, doing ironing and post-workout stretching on my ondal (온돌). It rocks and is helping me beat the winter SAD.

Somewhat relevant, as dancing on a heated floor is also great. Especially in socks.

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