Monday, March 20, 2006

Enough Jealousy of the Flowers Already!

I am so done with Winter. Winter is now that steak from that great place that used to be appetizingly medium-rare, then was rendered into well-done leather by the microwave. Can't even mask the overdone with A-1, baby.

Where at first happily I pulled out all my jackets (weather-enforced instant accessorizing!) and donned my vast array of turtlenecks (instant chic that flatters my long neck!), I am now glancing longingly at my sandals and cotton skirts. (Though not so longingly at my dry, white legs.) In fact, I have already pre-emptively given myself a pedicure. Native Americans do a Rain Dance to bring the rain, I do the Spring Toenail Scrunch to bring the Spring (the fumes can send one into a trance, after all). Take THAT, Old Man Winter!

But hah, who am I kidding. My toenails dealt no death-blow to this winter. Korean weather has been downright schizophrenic lately. We have had days at 30 degrees and days that are 58 degrees and sunny, only two days apart. We have had one last spit in the eye of winter snow and our first heapin' helpin' of springtime yellow dust from China, all in the same day. (I could explain how desertification there causes the loess to erode and become airborne and prevalent winds at times blow it into Korea for the Spring, lucky us, but you didn't check this site out cause you were having trouble sleeping now, didya.) Suffice it to say that this was just ONE day's weather in Seoul last week. Yowza; End of Days or somethin'.

Now in English we use sophisticated, colorful phrases under weather circumstances such as these: we say "the groundhog must have seen his shadow," we call it a "cold snap." Ooo. But the Korean language definitely tops us in this department. When a nice, balmy spring-like interlude is interrupted unexpectedly by three or so days of bone-chilling, cloudy, near-freezing weather, the Koreans poetically term it "ggo-ssem-choo-wee." That may not sound poetic at first blush, but, translated, it literally means "the cold that is jealous of the flowers." Meaning that, having seen and envied people's reaction to the warming weather and the budding flowers, Winter comes back for one last hoorah to see if it can get that reaction. (Hah! No chance. Go 'way.)

So don't get me wrong, these cold snaps BITE, but to hear my Korean neighbors talk about it, they just sound like something out of a fairy tale.

What is not even close to fairy-tale-esque, however, is the experience of keeping my two active boys inside when we get a little snap of that "jealous cold" over the weekend -- which seems to happen every weekend. It's more like a nightmare, especially by Sunday night. So anyway, I am here just wishing that Spring would spring, already. I'm beggin'. Cross your fingers for me. Do your own Spring Toenail Scrunch. Do SOMEthing.

Or else I may just have to hole up with the chocolate. Hmmm...


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