Of all the countries I’ve visited (excluding China and the US where I’ve lived), I’ve visited Korea the most – three times. That being said, I haven’t actually seen much of Korea because all of my trips were more for visiting people than exploring or adventuring. So when my sister and I took a short trip to Busan in January 2015, we went to the beach and ate ice. Yeah, we’re all about contradictions like that. But it was good. And it had mango. Yum.
We went to a place called Binguru just across the street from the Gwangalli Beach, and although there are many, many places in Korea that sell shaved ice, it’s definitely more popular in the summer. I was told that this was Taiwanese shaved ice (baobing) rather than the very similar Korean version (bingsu), but honestly I’m not too sure what differentiates them … I think they’re basically the same. Both use a fluffy form of shaved ice and are served either with red bean topping or sweet with fruit.
In contrast, the good ol’ American snow cone is ground-up ice with syrup for flavor … totally paling in comparison to the fluffy and fresh Asian ices. However, as good as baobing and bingsu are, I could totally go for a snow cone right now.
This time last year I was in New York. I was working on my thesis, there was snow piled up on the fire escape outside my bedroom window, and I was cozy warm. Amazing how much changes in a year, eh? Snow, how I miss it! Free heating, how I miss it! Being from Texas, I’m totally cool with endless summer, but if I’m going to be cold, there’d better be snow.
Lately Shanghai’s weather has been … odd. For a bit there I thought we had completely skipped winter. Last week there were a few days that were in the low 20s Celsius (60s-70s Fahrenheit) and it was actually kind of depressing, like seasonal affective disorder in winter but in reverse. Well, yesterday it snowed! Crazy, right? It dropped 20 degrees in a week! It snowed for a bit on Sunday and more yesterday, but it didn’t stick and the weather’s warming up again.
But it’s still really cold! Shanghai’s longitude is similar to Central Texas, but since there’s no central heating here and buildings are poorly insulated, it feels soooo much colder than New York. Either give me a radiator or give me snow! In New York I had both, in Shanghai I’d like at least one. This air conditioner/heater unit (which is mounted on the wall above me) is quite inefficient (because hot air rises) and it is totally drying out my skin.
It snowed today! It’s still snowing! Because of the nor’easter! And I almost froze to death! I really, really need to check the weather more often. And I really need to listen to people when they tell me that it’s going to snow, because a light jacket and Keds were really no match for snow, especially snow that was coming down at an angle due to the wind. Waiting at a corner to cross the street, the trash can next to me blew over – woah.
I wonder how long it’s going to continue snowing for. Hm … I guess it’s time to break out the winter coat, scarves, gloves, hat, and snow boots. Acks, so excited! Snow is still sort of a novelty since last year was quite mild. Roomie E ain’t too fond of it because she grew up with lots of snow, but I still think it’s cool. Then again, I am sitting in my nicely heated apartment and it’s only the first day of snow … we’ll see if my opinion changes as the winter progresses.
I woke up at 6:30 today, and for a while I couldn’t figure it if it was 6:30 AM or 6:30 PM because it was kind of dark out. After a few minutes of just thinking, I finally looked at my cell phone (which has my time on the 24-hour clock) and yep, it was 6:30 PM. Thinking about it, it kind of made sense because I went to bed pretty late (after watching some “Say Yes to the Dress” with roomie J) and because I had pulled all-nighters the previous two nights and because I was still sick. And still am sick.
I’ve only been awake for about six hours, but I am more than ready to go back to sleep. I took a long shower, made myself some chicken noodle soup, swallowed a pair of NyQuil tablets, and now I’m done. My room is toasty and sauna-y, which feels great to me (although roomie D disagrees). I don’t have much feeling in my left arm or my hands, which is kind of weird, but whatever. Off to sleep now. I hope tomorrow is better.
Woot! I woke up to snow, in my super warm room! Such a weird juxtaposition of climates. My room, which is verging on sauna (not really, but I’m a little warm in shorts and a t-shirt) and outside, where there is white stuff COMING DOWN FROM THE SKY. Cool.