Although I promised the post on Vietnam today, I found myself quite ill after a lunch of giant pork-spine soup . I could do little but lay in bed when I came home and try to keep other foods down periodically. That said, I will use this post instead as a kind of preface to tomorrow's real post on Vietnam.
The week before we left Korea, it finally snowed in Andong (the first real accumulation of the season). Two main things can be said for how the city handled snow: the public buses shut down, and the snowmen sprang up. As for the first, it didn't much affect me because I live close enough to school to walk, but I felt bad for the clusters of people huddling around bus stops, when I didn't see a single bus run for 2 days after the snow hit. Luckily, there are cheap taxis all over the place and I imagine it was a good few days for them.
The snowmen were much more fun. The only people I saw making them were middle aged men, which made me smile. With snow being so infrequent, it isn't a season of play only for the young. Actually, the children were probably all in school for the day, as they continue to take classes through their winter breaks.
I took these on my phone walking home from school:
(This one is modeled after a Korean "yangban," a traditional aristocrat (you can tell by the black hat style. It's hard to tell in this picture with the truck, but the hat also includes the wide brim sticking out on either side).
Although it was sad to leave behind the snow of Andong (and I dearly missed the epic Michigan snow this winter), I definitely looked forward to the warmth of two weeks in Southeast Asia.
The only problem was figuring out how to make the 3+ hour journey to Seoul (with the Han river being frozen up there) from Andong without excessive bulky winter clothing, since each of us only packed a single backpack for the trip. Socks with sandals? Oh yes.