Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The sound of Korean Summers

It is unmistakable and unavoidable. It is hypnotic and suffocating. It is the sound of Summer in Korea. It is cicadas, cicadas and even more cicadas. If you have ever visited Korea during the Summer time then you must have heard that noise. If not, then the best way to describe it is similar to electricity power lines crackling with power. Buzzing, alive and unnerving, the sound ripples through the daytime on this peninsula. Here is a video clip where I hope the sound gives a brief impression of what it's like here during the Summer months.

Summer is at a close and the seasons are changing but the noise can still be heard sometimes during the day, especially when you are close to some trees. You will hear a loud electrical kind of sound coming out of nowhere. The noise then moves to another set of trees, then to another and goes on and on. This is the true sound of Summer in Korea to me. Not children playing in the streets. Not fruit selling men driving trucks early in the morning. But cicadas. When I first came to Korea in 2005 I knew little about the many things that lay in store for me and naturally I had never heard of cicadas. I look forward to the future where I never hear them again because the sound is most unnatural. I know I won't be hearing them back in England. Anyway, I tried, unsuccessfully (despite their size) to take a decent picture of a cicada. Here is my attempt.

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