Sunday, November 25, 2007

First Snow

There is a large subway network in both Busan and Seoul, but this can provide more than mere stations and a method of getting from one place to another. The subterranean space and availability of large numbers of passing people means that sometimes a subway entrance is not merely a gateway to a platform and a train, but rather an extensive shopping area which can be so vast that it can link one station to another. And indeed, you might even find yourself, either by accident or design, walking from one station to the next without ever venturing out onto the surface.

So you can spend a lot of time underground in Korea, and this is part of the reason why by the time we had left Lotte World and browsed around underground, we had no idea what the weather was like out in the real world. And this is the surprising scene that awaited us:

Not only was this Seoul's first snow of the winter, it's actually the first I've seen since coming to Korea last year. It doesn't snow much in Busan where the temperatures are a little higher, and last year while one of the the local television stations got terribly excited about a few flakes in one of the city's northern districts, this is about fifteen miles away from where we live where there was nothing.

I come from a city where you could once almost guarantee that if something fell out of the sky during the winter months it would be white, but global warming means it tends to rain more than it snows these days. Still, I miss the snow and the feeling of winter, because it really does make it feel like there are four seasons, rather than the two of hot and cold which Busan seems to have been in the last year.

Korean tags: 겨울, 날씨, , , , 가게

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