Let's be honest. Korea is, generally, not the prettiest place in winter. I think the word most people use to describe it is 'dull'. Everything is grey or brown, from the buildings to the roads to the fields. The only thing that sometimes saves the scenery is a dusting of powdery snow, which doesn't last for very long but does wonders for the soul if you're from a country that never really encounters the stuff.
Yesterday morning I made my way to school after a night of snowfall, and I managed to catch it before it melted. It was all gone by 4pm. The road to the bus stop was fraught with danger, a veritable ice rink upon which I nearly saw my bum without a mirror a few times. Things were covered in snow in Gyeongsan for the first time this winter.
The view from our spare room, overlooking the rooftops of the elderly couple below, is lovely as long as you ignore the trash/wiring/kimchi pots in the yard. Amazing what a bit of zoom can do!
A lonely chair sits outside our apartment block, too ugly to be stolen. It's been there for months, and it's battered by the weather every day.
See what I said about not being pretty? This is a typical street, and I haven't edited it much in terms of colour, if you can believe it.
The ice rink. This isn't water... well, it is water, but it's ice. See how shiny? Super slippery! I must have looked ridiculous, marching along in my Merrell shoes, one high step at a time.
Anyone fancy a cold beer while sitting outside a convenience store? It's one of the more amusing customs here, and I'll miss walking past a Family Mart in the evenings and running into friends having a drink. Constructions workers can still be found here at 7am, drinking Soju after their night shifts.
Someone, not me, scribbled in the snow on someone's car. Ho Hyeon? A name?
A snowy scooter near the bus stop.
This poor woman is out in the cold every morning by the pedestrian crossing, selling her drinks and snacks.
The pathway up the school driveway, showing the kids who came before me. School continues as normal, despite it officially being vacation. Or as one of my boys said, "Teacher, it's fake vacation."
The school soccer field is always a depressing sight, as it's made of sand. Most schools have either a sand pitch, or an Astroturf field if they're rich. It's not surprising, given the lack of emphasis on school sports here, but it's so sad. Also, girls are never playing on it. They run up and down stairs for Phys Ed while the boys play football.
The tennis courts, covered in snow. Don't be fooled, they're not for the students. Only teachers are allowed to use them, and not just anyone either. Only the VP, and his cohorts from the middle school, apparently. Such a waste of space and resources. God forbid a kid should take an hour out of studying to hit a tennis ball!