Snow, and then flowers

Having never had a snowy winter before I was looking forward to winter in South Korea. I pictured the streets with snow piled up on the side, the city transformed, snowmen and bright, twinkly Christmas lights. I imagined being bundled up in scarves, hats, gloves and coats, enjoying the winter beauties, whilst feeling warm and comfortable in my winter wear.

That was not the case.

It was cold. 
So very cold. 

I wore layers and layers of winter wear, and yet, I was still cold most of the time. And to top it all off. to top all the injustices of my winter dreams, it didn't even snow all that much! In my city, Suwon, very little snow fell. In fact, to experience a 'real' snowy experience I got in a bus and visited my friends who lived in a small town 2 hours away from me. I felt rather hard done by. If I am going to be this cold, I at least expect some snow to go with it! 

It went on for so long.

I began to dress for winter mid to end of November and by the end of February I was definitely ready for Spring, ready for some sunshine! Winter was not done yet. It dragged on through March...
Finally, in April it began to get warmer. We had 1- 1.5 weeks of lovely warmth and then a cold snap again, and it was freezing once more! This is common in Korea and they say that 'the winter is jealous of the flowers' and it makes a comeback. 

However, on a more positive note, I did make a snowman with my friends, had a snowball fight and there were twinkly lights in some places and the bus stop bench was heated. 
A heated bus stop bench. I don't think it gets any better than that! 

My flat, and probably all flats here, has an underfloor heating system called ondol (a system of steel or copper water pipes coiled below the floor) and it really is magical. Coming home from work, I would throw my bag and myself down on the floor and loll about like a lazy cat. In restaurants where one sits on the floor to eat, the ondol heating keeps you comfortable and happy and ready to keel over and take a nap. Or maybe that was just an Austen feeling. Austen loves the ondol.

Wretched winter!
It just kept at it, and I was beginning to despair! 
What is Spring?

And then one ordinary day, outside of Homplus, the magnolia bloomed.
I was ecstatic!
All was well

Spring in Korea is magical. 
Just look at the array of flowers and the colours!
It seemed that everything that could bloom and blossom, bloomed and blossomed.
Trees, vines, flowers and bushes.

The blooming period might be short, but it is fierce. 
There is no way you are going to miss this wonderful change of season.

So many different colours and just bushes of them everywhere.

Look at the size of the flowering bush!

That was Spring.
Now everything is a lively green and I can hear the birds chirping outside.

And it is very hot.
Summer has arrived.


  1. The spring pictures are much better!

    1. oh yes! You can tell that winter and I did not get along very well...

  2. Replies
    1. There were bees! Plenty of them.. But I didn't manage to take a good photo of one. They were too busy buzzing about to pose for a picture. Bad, bad bees