Archive for the ‘typhoon’ Category

Typhoon 3

Friday, September 14th, 2012

There’s another monster typhoon coming.

Not. Happy.

However, I was tickled pink to have been given the opportunity to use the sentence “Korea gets three typhoons in one season once in a blue moon” to illustrate the idiom I was teaching my lunchtime conversation girls.

A Whiff of Fall

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

If you can have a false spring, can you also have a false fall? You know, in February when it suddenly thaws and everyone’s wearing t-shirts and the tulips start to poke out of the ground, and the next day all the tulips are dead, there’s a layer of frost on the ground, and everyone’ s shivering because no one got the “put on your coat” memo. That sort of false spring. We had it every year at UMW, and every year it caught me by surprise. By the time I knew to expect it, I had come to Korea, where we don’t have false springs – we just have very long, uninterrupted winters. I have never heard of a false fall, but that’s the best way I can describe our current weather.

It’s still summer, but the double typhoons (that’s right – instead of a double rainbow I got TWO typhoons, back to back) swept through and seem to have taken most of the summer heat and humidity with them. Looking at my town, we came out of the typhoons okay. There are no broken windows that I can see, though the wind did blow a fair amount of shingles off of the roofs those can be replaced easily, and only one tree fell over. All of the leaves on the ground shaken off the trees prematurely by the storm are starting to decompose, which just adds to the smell and feeling of our false fall.

Yesterday as I walked home, I noted that there were patches of sky uninterrupted by clouds, the first time in a few days, and the sky was so blindingly azure blue that it matched the colors of the roofs of some of the houses around me. Earlier in the day, I had peered out the window of the one of the first grade classrooms and noted that all I could see beyond the field surrounding my school was a gray nothingness, and the comforting familiarity of the mountains surrounding us, encasing our school and town in a valley and protecting it from the elements, had disappeared.

Korean summer has always been alien to me, as being from Virginia, while I’m used to the heat and the oppressive humidity I’m not used to the constant rain, and the winter’s always been too cold and harsh. On the other hand Korean spring and fall,  so similar to the ones I grew up with, just shorter, are pleasantly familiar. Today as I walked to school I wore a sweater, which considering the temperature is just continuing to rise was a ridiculous idea, but I wanted to bask in the snugness of false fall for just a little longer.

The Storm Continues to Rage

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Melodramatic title aside, remember how yesterday I said I was more worried about walking in the rain and less worried about my windows? Well now I’m more worried about my windows.

Last night I spent a good hour stormproofing my apartment. The Korean government suggests spraying newspaper with water, then sticking it to the windows. I did that for a bit, until I ran out of newspaper (I have a lot of gigantic windows… which normally is a good thing) and then I put Xs on the remaining windows with tape. As of 8 this morning, which is when I left for school, everything’s still intact, though some water has gotten in and is now puddling at the base of my windows, but that normally happens when it rains.

[My newspapered windows. Every time I look at this I feel like one of those people in detective movies who put up newspaper clippings and over time it takes over their whole room. I kind of want to start taking string and attaching it to random words in the various articles and stare at it while muttering BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!]

This morning I realized I was woefully unprepared for a jaunt in the rain, so I put on flipflops (no sense in getting good shoes wet) and a skirt (no sense in getting pant cuffs wet), wrapped my teaching bag in a plastic bag, grabbed my umbrella and left. I got halfway to school before another teacher saw me, took pity on me, and picked me up. The wind was blowing so hard that I had to put my umbrella directly in front of me, like a lance, and I couldn’t see a thing, and it still managed to turn my umbrella inside out. One of the trees on our campus fell down and is currently blocking the parking lot. This whole situation is ridiculous. The storm is right on us now, and with any luck in a few hours it’ll start clearing.

[This is the biggest typhoon Korea's seen in over a decade, and we're getting it by way of Japan. It must have hit them much harder than it's currently hitting us. The arrows denote where I am on this map.]



Well, all we can really do is keep calm and carry on. Hopefully the only typhoon updates I’ll have later in the day will be about how the typhoon  has moved on, and there’s a gorgeous double rainbow.


Sunday, August 26th, 2012

A big typhoon is hitting Jeju island as we speak, and it’s going to make it’s way up the mainland. I live in the southernmost tip of Korea, and I live on the top floor (the second) of one of the tallest buildings in my town. My co-teacher just suggested that I buy tape and tape down my windows.

I’m honestly less worried about my windows, and more depressed about having to walk to school tomorrow in the middle of a gigantic rainstorm.