Monday, January 11, 2010

First Post

It's winter here in Seoul, and last week we had the biggest snow event in the last 70 years.

What this means for teachers at hagwon (private schools) is that we only had to work a half day, which we had to make up on Saturday morning. Public schools were already recessed for winter break, but if they had been in session, it would have been a paid day off. Yet another reason to go public if you are thinking of teaching in Korea.

Having a foot of snow is also not a good time to discover the disadvantages of your only footwear options being low top Converse shoes. Especially because Seoul is very ill equipped at dealing with snow. It took old men with shovels a full week to clear all the snow from the sidewalks and streets around our apartment. The main highways are taken care of for the most part, but all other thoroughfares seem to be the responsibility of the residents or businesses.

Below is a picture from early on in the snow, when it was only a few inches, and still pretty. Later it turned into a dark gray slush or ice that stains everything it touches.

We don't have any pictures of the full snowfall, because it lost its charm very quickly and the novelty evolved into something more like disgust.

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