Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Streets of Ghost Town

When I first got here the evenings were warm, the daytimes warmer, and a mass of people thronged the streets day and night. Located where a main road intersects two side streets, the voices of passers-by were regular background noise in our apartment into the early hours.

A few days ago it got a little cooler. A few Koreans started wearing coats and I switched from short to long-sleeved tops; it's still 18 degrees Celsius here. But it is several degrees cooler at night, and the people are gone. I don't just mean there are fewer - I mean they almost completely gone. I'd say the footfall beneath our apartment window is down 95%. I'm writing this at 21:00 on Friday night and the only sounds I can here are a few cars passing by and their horns being sounded which from my experience of Korean roads I'm guessing never goes out of fashion here whatever the weather.

This does not seem to be offering any respite to the shop-owners and their fourteen hour days though; as far as I can tell all the small side-street shops are still open.

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