Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ah, this is jangma

I was starting to think jangma (장 마), the monsoon season, was a national illusion. During this alleged deluge, Korea is said to receive fifty percent of its annual rainfall in a span of 30-40 days. Although I'd been warned weeks ago that Seoul would be gray and soggy for several weeks straight, the onset of official jangma saw bright, sunny skies, pleasantly warm temperatures, and not a raindrop in sight. The sun worshiper in me was bracing for Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I've self-diagnosed, and was administering mental pep talks to encourage cheeriness despite the weather. I staged umbrellas at home, at the office, and inside my handbag so as not to be caught off-guard by Mother Nature. Still, a week or so into jangma, no rain. Just when I thought I was experiencing a fortuitous anomaly--a Korea summer with no jangma--the skies opened up and my beloved sun tucked behind the clouds for two straight days. Yet, as I write this, the sun is making a ephemeral appearance between bouts of the wet stuff. My Arabic service counterpart, Yossry, and I can only surmise that it's Mother Nature's way of pleasing both of us. He loves rain and I wish it would just go away!

Umbrellas line the hallways of KBS

A marvelous invention, if you ask me. Plastic bags for your rain-soaked umbrellas.

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