Friday, October 29, 2004

Hey!...Close the door!

It is now mid-fall and the temperature is falling. I have one basic, heartfelt plea for Koreans at this time: Please, please, after you leave your house, start closing any outer door you use.

I don't care about your homes... That sounds kind of mean-spirited; I do care about your homes, but you have the right to leave your own door open if you want. Other doors; at work, at school, public buildings, shops...., please close them after you go through.

My country is a cold one. In my part of Canada, we will have more than two months of -10 degrees Celsius or colder weather. Inside virtually every building, it will be 16 to 20 degrees. I love winter sports, making snowmen, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, skating and more.

All that said, I still feel uncomfortably cold in Korea. I think Korea is colder than Canada. Why? Because there is no escape from the temperature. Outside, it is -1 to +8 degrees Celsius and inside it is 4 to12 degrees. In late November and through to March, I will teach wearing a sweater and vest...sometimes even a scarf and long-underwear. Some students bring cushions to class because the seats are so cold.

Some Koreans might say that keeping the interior temperature down is for health reasons; to prevent a thermal shock going from hot to cold to hot to cold... I'll believe that when the gas and electrical heaters are turned off, instead of being close enough to some that they almost cook their legs.

Other Koreans may exclaim that Korea is a developing country, they don't have the money to heat their workspaces. Here is where we agree. However, you could afford to heat your offices if you CLOSED THE FRICKIN' OUTER DOORS!

Perhaps I'm biased by my nationality. Canada's R2000 building technology is famous for it's energy efficiency. The early R2000 homes had one flaw: they were so well sealed and airtight that there was some danger of suffocation. That's a little extreme, but keeping warm air in and cold air old seems like a good idea to me.

1 comment:

Yankabroad said...


Thanks for visiting, and I posted a post in response to your post.

I used to fret about this little problem a lot. I've given up, and moved on to bolder issues.

I have, since I've been in Korea, seen some incredible things.

A boy walking down the street in dead of winter holding his hands over his sister's exposed ears. Hat, anyone? Never. It flattens the hair.

Ever wonder why Korean women always walk around shivering in winter and utter the words "choouh, choouh?" Because when your aren't wearing any thermals it really is choouh. And why don't they wear long underwear? Because it would make their otherwise pencil-thin physiques no more pencil thin.

The door thing really is amazing though, isn't it?

They really, like you said, rarely close doors. But when I first came here 8 years ago, they NEVER closed doors.

What I've seen a lot of lately is people--usually women--walking down the sidewalk in sandals and no socks. Now, shoes with no socks is pretty normal. I rarely see the women who try to be stylish wearing socks--god forbid! But when they make a 400 meter dash in -10 weather with sandals and no socks, well, that is really something.

The weirdest thing I've ever seen? A guy smoking and jogging the same time. Or was he jogging and smoking?

Hey. I'm glad you're into nature.