Chronicles of Reverse Culture Shock: Weather (The Requiem for an 8-Month Summer)

Endless summer.

Endless summer.

“Well, when I lived in Asia…” begin so many of my sentences these days. Moving away is hard, and as it turns out, so is moving back. Chronicles of Reverse Culture Shock is a series devoted to these difficulties, and is also an outlet so that I don’t become That Guy Who Won’t Shut Up About Korea to all of his friends.

This is not a yearning for the weather in Korea. The weather in Korea sucks, essentially. There is one nice season, and it is fall, where the leaves change and everyone wears stylish sweaters and you don’t need a heater or an air conditioner, and people spend time outside and look at the trees and it all looks like an arty film that takes place in upstate New York. The leaves change and leave mountains as seas of red and gold, there are festivals and holidays, and the countryside reflects the people in calm, beautiful harmony.

Winter, though, is desolate and cold, and the buildings are poorly insulated. There is only a little snow, but when it falls, no one has any idea what to do with it, and the rules of society are abandoned, and people kill and eat one another in the streets. Summer is the temperature and humidity of Satan’s butthole, and also there are cicadas everywhere, so you are in a buzzing, sweaty vortex, and then a monsoon hits for a full month. Spring has some cherry blossoms, but they are often coated in yellow dust blowing in from the East with a side-dish of heavy metals from China’s industrial zone.

No, this is not about the weather in Korea.

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Do You Remember The Sun

Forecast: sucky.

A few weeks ago, summer had thoroughly arrived in Korea. The days were getting hotter, but more than anything, the humidity made just exiting my apartment feel like wading deeply into Swamp of Sadness. In this time of year, you wake up and start sweating, and basically don’t stop until the sun sets. I slumped through those days, damp from my own heat, sleepy from the haze, ready at every moment to curl up and nap.

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Weekly Waygook: The Global Taste

Snow on the Mr. Pizzacycles.


Winter has befallen Incheon, and we felt the first ballast of snowfall yesterday. As someone of good Canadian stock, I am genetically encoded to observe upon this fact, and complain about it endlessly. Snow sucks. It’s cold, and it’s only pretty for about twenty minutes before it mixes with car exhaust and salt and becomes a blackened slush. Korean sidewalks are already woozily uneven, and this will only serve to make them more slippery. And Korean roads are deathtraps masquerading as motorways, a sheen of black ice will only add to the mortality rate. In sum: boo snow.

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