Posted by: rbbadger | December 7, 2008


Well, it has been cold recently here in Wabu-eup.  Sometimes, our school is pretty cold, especially when I arrive in the mornings.  In addition to our furnace, we do have some electric heaters on the walls.  They look like fans, except that they do not blow hot air and are just electric heaters.  Electric heat is certainly quite inexpensive here, given that the Korean government heavily regulates and heavily subsidises the electric industry.  The gas industry is another matter, though it is dominated by the huge chaebols (conglomerates) that affect nearly every facet of Korean life.  GS provides the natural gas for my home.  Even at the height of summer, where temperatures ranged in the 30°C (86°F) range with 60-80% humidity (fun!), my electric bill never amounted to more than about 30,000원 (about $25 currently). 

The first big snow of the season came today and it is sticking.  This is somewhat annoying, given that the sidewalks and streets are never really cleared and you always have to be on the lookout for ice.  It makes being a pedestrian doubly difficult, as you also have to be on the lookout for food delivery people on motorcycles driving on the sidewalk, too.  Thankfully, you can hear them!  

Also, as a true sign that it is definitely winter, the 구세군 (Salvation Army) is out in full force with their bell ringers.  I’ve seen them in Jamsil and at the COEX Mall.  They look very nice, dressed up in their quasi-military uniforms. 

We get some snow in Korea.  But on the whole, winter seems to be rather dry and very cold, what with the cold winds drifiting down from Siberia.  Of course, I am not living in the province that tends to get the most, namely Gangwon-do.  The most mountainous province in a heavily mountainous country is home to a number of ski resorts.  Pyeong Chang-gun, a small city in Gangwon-do, has unsuccessfully tried to host the Winter Olympics a couple of times.  They lost out to Russia in 2007 for the 2014 Winter Olympics.  On Saturday, our high temperature was -2°C (28°F).  Today we are to have a high temperature of maybe 2°C(35°F) and tomorrow it will be a downright balmy 8°C(46°F).  America is the only country to use Fahrenheit as a form for measuring temperature, though it is not used for scientific work.  Celsius is the international standard and I’ve become quite used to it.



  1. BRRR! Hope you have a warm coat, gloves, etc! It’s cold here too and we have had one skiff of snow. Watch out for those motorcycles on the sidewalks and the ice! Maybe you want to be ON one of those motorcycles! I know you wish you were home chopping and hauling in the wood for the stove! Enjoy your furnace at school and your gas heat at home! 🙂

    Love ya LOTS!
    ~ Mama

  2. It’s been a dry cold, huh? Does it get colder before spring starts to creep in? I find myself enjoying the cold lately. It brings happy memories. It’s usually about 35 F when I take Hyrum to school in the morning, and when it gets up to 50 or 60 in the day time it feels hot. It’s so funny. In the summer we’d all be freezing. It’s funny how our bodies adapt.
    How fun that you got snow, even if it does bring ice. Our last snow in Globe was almost 3 years ago, and it knocked out the power for 2 days. 🙂
    I enjoy looking at the pictures and postcards you send/email. And just so you know, Jeremy thought it was pretty neat that you sent one specifically to him a few months ago.
    As soon as Lexmark replaces my ink cartridge (I bought a new one yesterday and it was bad and Wal-Mart won’t replace it! Grrr!) I will have your Christmas card in the mail. I wanted to print our family picture to put in it.
    And just for kicks, have you seen this: ?
    This guy goes around the world and dances this dumb little dance and videos it. Well this one has him dancing in the Demilitarized Zone next to a soldier. How does he dare do that? Crazy!
    Love ya!

  3. i would DIE! but i wouldn’t mind having your electric bill!!

    and why are they driving on the sidewalks? that’s odd.

    any plans for christmas? we’re going to miss you!

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