Jangma or monsoon season has finally arrived in Seoul. It’s hot and sticky and wet and overall not the type of weather I particularly enjoy regardless of the fact that I am a huge fan of thunderstorms. The humidity seeps into your pores and makes everything soggy and blergh and you just want to stay at home, turn on your a/c and just lie there not doing anything; because doing stuff makes it so much worse.
Sadly, bumming around at home all day is not an option because work beckons and you have to head out into the hot and sticky and wet and deal with all the cranky people who are doing very much the same. It’s such a hassle having to deal with all those people during rush hour as most Koreans seem to have no sense of personal space or umbrella etiquette at all.
On my commute I am constantly dripped on by some lady with a gigantic umbrella and my normally pristine work clothes are soaked by the time I arrive at work. It kind of makes me wonder if I could pull off a raincoat… but as a grown ass woman, I am sure that would be a grave fashion faux pas and no one should be wearing a raincoat past the age of four, okay maybe five. Thankfully, things are always better when your feet are dry and I have honestly never been so happy to own a pair of Hunter rain boots in my life!
My friend Abe wrote something on Facebook that I’ve translated and localised a tad for the sake of my non-Korean friends but this is an awesome description of the type of people you’ll find during monsoon season in Seoul.
1. The Umbrella Warrior: Opening up your gigantic umbrella and fighting with all the other people with umbrellas around you on busy streets (mostly during rush hour).
2. Puddle Tap Dance: Deliberately shimmying into every large puddle and splashing all the people around you.
3. The Sprinkler: I understand you ducking for cover away from the rain but is it necessary to shake your wet umbrella in my direction?
4. Caribbean Bay: People in cars who drive into the water pooled by the pavement and splash everyone with dirty water.
5. Bus Stop Monopoly: Keeping your umbrella open under the bus stop and taking up all the space under the roof. HELLO, no need to be under both the umbrella and the bus shelter!
6. Water Brusher: Not fastening your umbrella closed on public transportation and sneakily wiping your umbrella on everyone pants and skirts.
Hope you guys have more manners than these guys! Only a few more weeks until we see sunshine! In the meantime, I suggest investing in a pair of rainboots and a battle worthy umbrella!