Saturday, February 8, 2014

Seoul in Winter: The Negative Side

My mantra during the late winter months clearly has to be "I love this city, I love this city, I love this city, I do not want to accept the very first job offer to move to Thailand, Central America, or anywhere that is not FREAKING FROZEN AND SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF ME!!!"

Every winter, like clockwork, I start getting unreasonably angry and/or depressed in late January and it continues until the first warm days in March. I know I've told you about all the wonderful things you can do in Seoul in the winter, but here's the trick: you need to have time to enjoy those things!

Time is something I've had very little of the past few weeks. Don't get me wrong, I've been having a lot of fun with my friends. There was the four day marathon birthday party for my best friend:

Day 1: Our failed ski trip to Jisan (it was raining all day) where we just sat around a fire pit singing and then played drinking games in the condo we rented.
Day 2: Bonny & her awesome roommate Brooks, Thai for dinner and then taking over a club to dance to two of our favorite hip-hop DJs for the night
Day 3: The menu for our homemade Mexican Ultra Feast
Day 4: Unlimited champagne at the W Hotel brunch followed by excessive whispresso (shot of whiskey followed by a shot of espresso) at the Paradise Casino

But then this winter there have been FAR too many going away parties. I don't know why they're all hitting this year. Maybae it's because this is my third year, so a lot of the people I know are finishing up their one or two year stints in Korea (the typical length for an expat). 

The first one was my one of my good friends from my first year, and member of the Suyu Crew (the expats in my first neighborhood), Chris:
One guess as to which one is him

Then there was in incredible Inbal:

She's in the middle, and she's awesome and I'm gonna miss her a LOT

Next there was Cameron...

He's the blond in the foreground, another member of the Suyu Crew lost...

And soon I'll be saying goodbye to my coworker Ashley, who has been my officemate for almost two years and who has done a LOT to keep me sane and semi-grounded. My friend Melissa is also leaving, but she's just moving to Gyeonggi-do, but... come on... it's Gyeonggi-do! Then there's Seth, who has been an invaluable friend during these single-life months. It's going to be hard...

When people leave in August/September I think it's easier, because the city is still so alive and I can easily busy myself. People leaving in the winter just makes the winter that much more unbearable. 

I also think that the one part of culture shock I've never fully gotten over is how Koreans deal with winter weather. I've talked about this before, and it still baffles me. I mean, WHY is it so damn cold in the hallways of my school?!?!? Oh, it's because the cleaning ladies leave the hallway windows open to CIRCULATE THE AIR!

Urge to kill... RISING!!!

I also, like so many others, ALWAYS gain weight in the winter. It's because I'm not running around quite as much and the thought of having to bundle up in the mornings to go the the gym (for which I am outside a total of 3 minutes to get to) makes me ragefail. I also get way hungrier in the winter, because science SUCKS.

Amen, sister!!!

Everything has made optimism and personal drive pretty difficult. The 100 Days project kinda fell to hell the last two weeks, though I'm hoping to pick things back up in order to make myself feel less worthless. I need to start taking time out for me... but that's pretty hard when your schedule is jam packed and offers not a moments rest... ugh... spring... spring I need you...

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