My Brilliant Korea
January 19, 2010
Inside, it was a pleasant 24 degrees.
Wrapped in my floral doona, dressed in my floral pyjamas (don’t judge), I had slept peacefully in my cosy city apartment.
The first I knew of the whipping Mother Nature had delivered Seoul was when I was woken by a text message from my friend, Amy.
“I just stepped outside into a foot of snow!” the message read.
I dragged myself out of my flowery nest, ran to my window, and looked down.
The road surface had completely disappeared.
Parked cars were barely visible under a thick layer of white, and large flakes continued to fall.
It was a beautiful, albeit somewhat inconvenient, sight.
An hour later, I waited at my bus stop and watched as vehicle after vehicle activated their hazard lights and pulled to the side of the road in the difficult conditions.
I desperately hoped my bus would do the same, giving me the perfect excuse to return to my tropical apartment and host a dance party for one (music by Michael Jackson, the Thriller era).
Unfortunately, the painfully reliable Seoul subway system continued to run efficiently and transported me to school, where I was able to impart my knowledge of the English language to the handful of children who had bothered to turn up that day.
But, I suppose, if I had not made it to school, I would not have this picture.
The Korea Meteorological Administration said the snowfall on January 4 was the heaviest the city had experienced since falls were first recorded in 1937.
Bizarre Korean fact: It is the responsibility of the Korean home owner to clear any snow that piles up in front of their house or apartment. If they do not comply with this rule, they can be fined the equivalent of $10,000. If a pedestrian slips and injures themselves on snow out the front of house, it is the homeowner who is liable to cover the injured person’s medical bills.
When Blythe was a journalism student at the Queensland University of Technology she interviewed the former Indonesian president, Abdurrahman Wahid.
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