Sunday morning, I awoke to see this out my "kitchen" window:
Wet flakes the size of baeg won laid a sticky coat of white on the paved sections of the park. A collection of puffy-jacketed children scooped it into tiny snowmen, and a couple of high school boys dashed across the street shielding a two-fist snowball that probably took them a good patch of ground to pat together. The father at the grocery store set his baby daughter inside, breathing "cho-uh," a nearly involuntary exhalation of the word "cold."
Some of my students have furry hats with animal faces and ear flaps that hang down onto their chests, or that even blend themselves into scarves with paw-mittens on the end. What's surprising though, is not that eight-year-old boys are okay with wearing them, but that twenty-year-old men are too. And somehow, those high school girls still wear their little uniform skirts and jackets.
I spent the afternoon at a coffee shop, which was flooded with foreigners I'd yet to see in our suburb, but a new school has opened up down the block from where I work, and I've actually lost a couple of older students to them. Anyway, my latte was delicious, and spiced with cinnamon, and I studied the Korean my supervisor has been teaching me. I am beginning to be able to differentiate words within sentences, which may sound like ridiculously little, but Asian languages were just that foreign to me. I can also answer very simple questions about what I ate or where I went or who I saw. So, so far to go, but I've managed to ask for plastic bags without having the clerks repeat my request in English--victory!