Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Make Winter Less Miserable in Korea

This is my second winter in Korea, and it sucks just as much as last year. Some might say "Aren't you from Colorado, State of World Class Ski Resorts and Regular Snowfall?" To which I would say
a) I am from Southern Colorado, which is basically a desert + Pikes Peak, meaning little snowfall and warmer than average temps
b) I am a fake Coloradan--cumulatively, I've really only lived in Colorado for four years or so
and most importantly,
c) Korean winters are way, way, way worse than anything I've ever experienced in any part of the country in the U.S. The only place I can think to compare is maybe Minnesota, where my father once got frostbitten ears after a three minute snowmoblie ride.
So I can and will whine about the weather A LOT, thank you very much

Currently, temps are averaging about -10 degrees Celsius. Most days, thankfully, the sky is clear. But the wind--that damned wind that blows down from Siberian Russia--is SO. FREAKING. COLD. You can feel the life leaving your body when it hits you.

But talking constantly about how cold it is, in my opinion, only makes the situation more miserable. Now, it is January, and at least two more months of horrible coldness remain until things start to warm up ever so slightly in April. The things that I am doing to survive/thrive/stay sane:

  • Buying cool shit online that makes my apartment feel more like home.

  • I just bought a toaster oven from GMarket. Nothing like toast + melted cheese + tomato soup in the winter

  • Catching up on movies and TV from back home while bundled up inside.

  • I recently finished the documentary Catfish and it completely blew my mind.

    I also watched Good Hair, Easy A, and The Kids Are Alright and I loved them all. I wanna catch up on all the Oscar nominated stuff too: The King's Speech, Black Swan, and True Grit are all on my "to watch" list.

  • Reading books.

  • I've been seriously neglecting this area for awhile now, but now that I'm reading again, I just feel so much better about my life in general. What's that one quote--that you'll never be bored if you're in the middle of a good book?--whoever said that, it's good shit, man. I just finished David Sedaris's new one--Chipmunk Seeks Squirrel--and it was hilarious.

    I also just read The Shining which I'm not sure I'd recommend reading alone in your apartment. I'm now moving on to Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali on my Kindle.

  • Sleepin' on the heated floor.

  • I had this one figured out last year.

  • Layerin' up like a wedding cake.

  • My typical garb: fleece-lined tights under jeans (if I'm wearing a skirt, I'll wear two pairs of tights) + tank top + long sleeved shirt + sweater + light jacket + big brown down coat. I also wear gloves, a hat if my coat doesn't have a hood, and a huge scarf that wraps around my head three times. Basically, I look like a big puffy shapeless marshmallow when it is all said and done, and you can see about two square inches of my face. BUT WHO CARES IT'S FREAKING COLD OUT. And there's no way in hell I'm going out like some Korean girls you see around here:


  • Getting inside hobbies

  • I love being outside, and in the summer, I have tons of hobbies that I can pursue to my heart's content--running, biking, hiking, roller blading, taking long walks, ect. But I've never been good at doing inside free time stuff--unlike my crafty mom and sister, who sew and knit, I get frustrated with projects that involve too much focus and precision, I've realized. So, I've started painting a bit, writing in my journal again, blogging of course, and doing a bit of yoga here and there. Sometimes I use the free yoga videos on Exercise TV, but mostly I just do whatever I want.

  • Limiting the amount of time I'm in my apartment by myself.

  • I love alone time just as much as anyone else. Probably more than most people, actually. But I hate, hate, hate being alone in the winter. Maybe it is the lack of Vitamin D, but I get really sad if I don't see enough people I like during the days/nights lately. So I make dates for coffee, lunch, and dinner. AND IT ROCKS.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, random comment. I enjoy reading your blog.