Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Winter Heating

For some reason Koreans seem proud of their four seasons. Maybe it's pride is too strong a word, but Koreans at my school take extra care to inform me of the special days when one season starts and the other season begins. It's a little bit eerie since the only other people that I know who do this are Wiccans.

Of course conflicts occurs when the foreigner perceives a season starting too late or (in my case) too soon. For example, no matter how cold it gets in November the school will not turn on the heating system until December.

Although the temperatures are approaching the freezing point, Koreans do not push the little button that magically warms the room. Whether the venue be school, work, a store, or a restaurant, Koreans are either completely indifferent to temperature preference or everyone is too cheap to warm up the air to be a little more comfortable. It kind of reminds me of my Dad and how he wouldn't turn on the furnace until December, but to the extreme! "Just put on a sweater." Sorry Dad. It is so cold inside that no one bothers taking off their winter jackets once they get inside.
For a little perspective this isn't a case of bring a sweater to work, my school is so poorly insulated that there are literally gaps in the windows where the wind whistles through.; my average English classroom temperature is 10C. I walk around the school to find that windows are left wide open. Given all of the other examples of Korean Komfort, I can't understand the mentality towards winter heating. I'm not alone questioning this logic:
First off, I can't feel my toes and am super cold because there is no real heating system in my school and I have to wear open toe slippers at work. There's only heating in the office and maybe the classroom, not sure if the heat is just from the number of students haha. The rest of the school is freezing and as everyone complains about the temperature, pretty much every window is wide open. Sigh...my friends and I have been saying that when in Korea, take anything that seems the most illogical and apply here because that's how it seems to work haha.

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