Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Snow day in January. Korean surprise

Surprise surprise. Yesterday we saw the heaviest snowfall I'd seen in the four years here in Daegu. In fact it was heavy snow for most of Korea. And it was real snow. The kind that sticks, that can made into snowballs and takes a while to clear. I doubt the kids round here have been so happy in such a long time. Shame most of them had to spend their day in academies. People could actually play in the snow, but this also meant people had problems dealing with it too. I saw one elderly street vendor dealing with the snow by using water to clear it away. Blissfully oblivious to the fact of how dangerous ice is.

When I say people here have problems I mean pretty much everyone. This part of Korea, in fact most parts of Korea are not used to snow and do not know how to deal with it. Drivers here are poor at the best of times but yesterday they gave more thought to the conditions. However not having regular experiences with snow this lead to people over compensating. I saw several cars going ridiculously slow, perhaps around 5 miles an hour in parts.

It only snowed for about two/three hours but it was enough to leave its mark. I hope the kids enjoyed it while it lasted. I know I did. Might be a long time till they see snow round here like yesterday.


Anonymous said...

I attended university at Northern Arizona, so coming to Korea was a welcomed change to living in the hot deserts of Arizona. I love experiencing the four seasons, but have longed for it to snow (and stick) like it did when I was in college.

In my 9 years at NAU, I only had one snow day, since our city knew how to deal with it. I was amazed that 20cm brought most of Korea to a stand-still. I mean, it's not that much snow. I was further amazed that people were still driving with chains on yesterday. I guess they really don't get that much accumulation here.

I was fortunate to have the day off and will not be making up classes on the weekend. Some of my co-workers and peers are not as lucky.

Talking to myself said...

No such luck with cancelling classes here! The snow wasn't very deep just a lot deeper than I've seen here before. I was so surprised when it was sticking. Koreans in general just don't know how to handle the snow because they don't see it enough. Imagine if it was deep snow... I think the country would be on its knees for a few days. Hope you enjoy the snow while it lasted

Muckney said...

Gavin these pics are amazing! I can’t believe that’s Daegu. The only day it snowed the year I was there, when we went with Alex and Jasmine up the mountain, I took a picture with my phone of kids trying to build a snowman out of what had to be less than a cm of accumulation. I’ll never forget that mental image.

Thanks for sharing your insights and your great photos Gabeen!

Anonymous said...

I think it depends where you are in Korea as to how used to the snow the Koreans are. Here in the UK, we don't deal with the snow too well ourselves. The whole country is on its knees because of a bit of snow... Pretty though.

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