Enjoying Winter, or Enduring Winter?

“When you’re in Canada in the winter, you have one of two choices.
You can embrace winter, or you can sit at home like a sissy.”

[vsw id=”eah6mcgCKHg” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”404″ autoplay=”no”]

For a Canadian, I (Audrey) am pretty wimpy when it comes to winter

Since Sam has been back home in Canada visiting his family this month, he’s gone ice-skating, played hockey outdoors, and even gone snow-shoeing through the woods. I, on the other hand, have been hibernating in Korea, cozying up with my electric blanket, and drinking cups of hot tea while I catch up on Argentinean films. Winter in Korea is on par with that in Canada, except I just can’t deal with it.

Sam’s opening lines in this video made me laugh because while he’s embracing winter, I’m clearly being a sissy in Korea…

But let me paint you a picture of just how cold it gets over here.

What’s winter in Korea like?


Audrey and Samuel in Korea during winter

– Your eyeballs feel like they are going to freeze.

– Everyone at work wears their winter jackets indoors, ALL DAY LONG.

– Three pairs of wool socks don’t cut it. You need fur lined boots.

– Sometimes when you pee, steam rises from the toilet bowl. (TMI, but I bet you didn’t think that was possible!)

– It looks like Siberia.

Korean countryside in winter

– I have to wear my touque, mittens, and scarf while I teach in class even though the heat is ‘ON’.

– Kids carry hot packs in their pockets to keep their hands warm.

– You can see your breath when you are INDOORS.

– You want to eat haejangguk every single night.

– Walking is more like ice-skating. He does it well. I don’t.

Sam in Korea during winter

– There are no snow-plows where I live, which means no one clears the snow. It simply accumulates and cars slide around at 15 km/hour.

– I wish I were six again so that I could wear snowpants.

– I got an electric blanket for Christmas and thought it was THE BEST present ever!

– It takes 2+ days for clothes to dry in the apartment.

– The sidewalks in rural areas aren’t salted or cleared, which means they look like this:

Sidewalk covered in ice in Korea

Teachers have blankets in the office that they use to cover their legs while they sit at their desks.

– I put off going to the supermarket even though my fridge is empty, because it’s just that cold!

– There is no hot water in most public bathrooms which means you just sprinkle some water on your hands for 3 seconds tops.

You probably think I’m exaggerating, I would too.

Except, I’m not.

Tell me, what’s winter like where you are?

Join the Conversation


    1. says: Audrey

      I feel the same way! I’d rather be sweating than shivering.

  1. says: Vera

    I was in Seoul in winter for one night a couple of years ago, and thought: “That’s odd!” when leaving the hotel for a little wonder. It had been snowing, but yeah, nobody had cleared the snow, and side-walks weren’t salted, either. I kinda slid along, thinking to myself that Koreans must probably have really cool shoes or something, because otherwise, getting from A to B would be a night-mare, right? But then I saw that EVERYONE was kinda sliding along… It was still nothing like what your last picture shows – that looks just… bonkers. I mean, what do you DO? Heartfelt compassion and respect. I found hot water bottles to be a good thing to have in these times!

    1. says: Audrey

      Sliding and balancing on that ice takes some skill! I’m continuously slipping around, but then I look around and people far older than I am are going about their daily business without a hassle… Hmmm…

  2. says: Ashley

    Your pee steams? And what does it feel like when your eyeballs ‘freeze’??
    Sam’s family is so outdoorsy, Audrey!
    Get ready 😉 Maybe i’ll join one of your cross-country skiing adventures in the future, mmm-kay?
    Keep warm with your electric blanket, dont brig water near it!

    1. says: Audrey

      Yep, that goes to show how cold it is in the bathrooms. Still wanna visit!? 😉

  3. I’ve been dealing with much the same here in China this winter, though I’m nice and cozy when I’m inside because they heat our apartment quite well … sometimes too well! But going to the grocery store? Forget it.

    1. says: Audrey

      You have heat!!! I envy you. Mine is broken so I’ve been spending every second at home with my electric blanket. 😉

  4. says: Sofia

    Haha wow that seems pretty crazy! I have nothing against winter, I love skiing and being in the mountains, but at least I know that I have a warm home to come back to 🙂

    1. says: Audrey

      A warm home to come back to helps. Bonus points if it has a crackling fireplace! 😉

  5. says: Andrea

    We live in Norway so it’s pretty cold, though warmer here in Stavanger than most parts. A fellow expat said it best: you know you’re in Norway when you go outside at -5C and say, “Ah, what a warm night this is”

    1. says: Audrey

      Aghh, I don’t want to imagine what a chilly night in Stavanger feels like then. I would probably hibernate all winter long. 🙂

  6. I live in the San Francisco area now where winters are chilly and rainy, but I lived for many years in Chicago. I know what real winter is! I actually love winter weather — as long as I’m not living in it for several months. I like visiting wintry places and skiing, but it’s nice to come back home, too. I think the worst part of winter is the ice (like in your pic).

  7. says: Audrey

    Hehe, yep, that was some thick and slick ice! I’ve heard Chicago’s winters are pretty brutal, but I haven’t experienced one yet! (And for that I am thankful.) 😉

  8. I just wrote about the few things I like about Winter in Ohio. I’m enduring this year. If I’m doing Winter, I want it to be somewhere with real snow, so I can at least do fun stuff like snowboarding.

  9. says: Dean

    I know this won’t make you feel better, but it’s so hot and humid here in Queensland, Australia that I wake up with my pillow pasted to my head from all the sweat.

  10. says: Kerri

    Living in England, we don’t really get extreme winters, we just get A LOT of rain! When it does snow though, the country goes into meltdown. We have gritters for the main roads, but that’s about it – the small roads near your house turn into death traps and the pavements just turn into ice skating rinks once all the snow is compacted!

  11. says: Marilyn

    In Northern Ontario Canada the average winter temp. is approx. -25 but does go down to -40 a t least once every two wks

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *