Why Korea Feels Colder than Canada

In general, I like cold. I grew up in Newfoundland, in northeastern Canada, where the daytime temperature during the winter is around -10 Celsius, dropping down to about -20 at night. At times, it can get down to around -40. It’s no fun waiting for the school bus in that, let me tell you.

In Newfoundland, we call this May. [Source]

In Newfoundland, we call this May. [Photo]

In Korea, it’s not nearly as cold. Wikipedia shows the average temperature in January to be between 4 and -6 degrees. Cold, but not crazy cold. Houses here are heated by a system of under floor heating called ondol. It’s wonderful to walk around on, or just lie on, although you have to remember not to leave any chocolate or meltables on the floor.

Public buildings, including schools, however, are not heated that way. Some are not heated at all. Many small schools use nothing but space heaters to heat the classrooms. The students and teachers both where their coats all day long.

The bathrooms also are not heated and most don’t have hot water. Also, the hallways aren’t heated and usually the doors of the school are open all day long.

Korean school door

This is the front door of my main school. Most schools keep their doors open like this all year long.

Why on earth would you keep the door open all day in winter? It’s not masochism, I swear. The reason is ventilation. Koreans love ventilation more than heat, it seems. I had a class once in the library, which was in the back building and didn’t get any sunlight anyway. The principal would come in in the mornings and open all the windows in the middle of winter. It took about 3 hours to get it back to a liveable temperature.

When I was growing up, I never really felt cold, unless I was outside for hours and hours and my gloves got wet. But in Korea, I’m cold most of the day in the winter. I used to like winter a lot more too. I realized that cold is only fun if you can get warm afterwards. Nobody wants to go from cold outside to cold inside. And that is why Korea feels colder than Canada.

(P.S. One unexpected thing that Korea does have a lot of is heated toilet seats. That at least mitigates things a bit when you have to wash your hands with cold water.)

Advertisements

About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

14 responses to “Why Korea Feels Colder than Canada

  • Michelle Proulx

    You know what, now that I think about it, I did feel really cold in Korea all the time. I think part of that was I couldn’t figure out how to work the heating in my apartment, so it was really chilly when I got back from work, and I had to wait about an hour for the floor heating to get the temperature up to a decent level.

  • Eric Alagan

    Thank goodness for the heated toilet seat.

    During my first trip ever to UK in 1981, I arrived during winter and checked into a small B&B in Cheltenham. I recall my first trip to the toilet – Yeow! – I literally jumped up. Coming from all-year-round-sunny Singapore, that was a shock!

  • arjun bagga

    That’s me. I feel breathless in a closed room but that temperature, I’m not sure if I want to find out even. I’m sure though kids and colleagues in your school enjoyed reading this piece of writing if you let them. I did.

  • sharmishtha basu

    hmm, I too open all the windows and doors in the morning in this house, because its only exit is safe enough- and keeping it locked does not stops wind, sunshine 🙂

    and I hated waiting for school bus in delhi during winter months ha ha

  • Kim

    Very interesting stuff David….it’s nice to learn about cultural differences.

  • Holistic Wayfarer

    David, would you be interested in participating in the Race? Info on my front page. I’d be happy to share my podium with you and promote your blog.

    HW

    • David Stewart

      Thanks for the invitation. It sounds very interesting. I will email you my answers within a day or so.

      • Holistic Wayfarer

        Good. Please try to be as succinct as you can, esp on the ques that don’t require much elaboration. Think about why my readers will want to keep reading. It’s a deep, thoughtful group you’re introducing yourself to. =) And be honest, esp about Koreans! I’d be curious to see how your feelings pan out with mine. Hope you enjoy the process.

        HW

Let me know what you think. I appreciate all comments and criticisms.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Eve In Korea

My Adventures As An ESL Teacher In South Korea

Luna's Writing Journal

A Place for my Fiction

Bikurgurl

I'm just a gurl in the world

Here's To Being Human

Living life as a human

The Moving Quill

Writing & Blogging by Shailaja V

jenacidebybibliophile

Book Reviewer and Blogger

yuxianadventure

kitten loves the world

Strolling South America

10 countries, 675 days, 38,540km

It's All in Finding the Right Words

The Eternal Search to Find One's Self: Flash Fiction and Beyond

Reflections Of Life's Journey

Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author

Commendable Soap

"...the manufacture of stories... a business safe and commendable as making soap..." Willa Cather, 1920

BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)

Total Time Waste

A Humor Blog!

Claire Fuller

Writing and art

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

The Found Girl's Bookblog

A lost girl found by good books

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

Learning how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress

wordsandotherthings.wordpress.com/

she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!

obBLOGato

a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side

SightsnBytes

A.K.A. Ted White

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Life in Kawagoe

Japanese daily sight

The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writng, and More

Mondays Finish the Story

This is a flash fiction site where you finish the story!

Sketches By Boze

An ongoing exploration of faith, culture, myth, life, art. An advocate for all who are trapped in nightmares.

Tiffys World

A diary type blog following the life of a Forensic Science Student

San Diego Professional Writer's Group

A San Diego based critique group for professional and aspiring writers

Five Years to Mediocrity

chasing kitties, crashing scooters, and learning spanish, one anxiety attack at a time

athingirldotcom

never judge a girl by her weight

The Discerning Christian

Philosophy, Christianity, Social Justice

€merald Wake ©

❤ The art marked by the Pain ❤

Fiction et al

Navigating the modern business of book publishing

Yarnspinnerr

Just Fiction and other things that seem fictitious.

The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

Marina Kanavaki

Art Towards a Happy Day

%d bloggers like this: