Monday, December 04, 2006

38 Brass Monkeys on the Korean Peninsula

It is seriously brass monkeys here now. The temperature has dropped about 15 degrees (that is C, not F) in the last two weeks and the days are now hovering around or below zero degrees. If, like us, you haven't had a cold winter in eight years, you really really notice how cold it is.

Korean women get a name for having a penchant for fur, and I can see why. It is not so much because of vanity, but because they make for the warmest coats you can buy to protect you from the icy Siberian winds. Any minks running around in my garden would not last long.

It is amazing that there is a population here at all and they didn't all freeze to death going out to check that their fermenting cabbage vats were not going solid during the winter months. But then they did invent under floor heating systems which must have been a joyful discovery for them!

They are a tough looking bunch in winter - the dark warm clothes seem to accentuate their hardy build - or perhaps it is only the hardy tough looking ones who take to the streets on these chilly days. All the skinny super models probably stay at home and watch Style TV - number 555 on the cable TV network and even worse than "it's-crap-but-it's-the-best-there-is" BBC World.

Frighteningly, it is still about seven degrees off the average winter temp of minus seven. Since that is the average, and it goes down to minus 20 sometimes. I don't think we will be able to go outside if it gets down that low. Or if we do make it out the door, we will be wearing so many clothes it will be hard to do anything other than roll down the hill forming a human snow man.

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