Monday, January 12, 2004

Korea: Land of Converging Winds

During the summer months in Korea it got so hot and humid that I was beginning to think I was living in hell. Those days are gone...Hell has frozen over. It snowed much of yesterday and last night, and by this morning we had a lovely white blanket covering a freshly beautified Camp Bonifas. Along with the beauty of the snow comes it's tyrannical soul mate, cold! Man is it cold. The usual nice three minute stroll to my office has quickly become a twenty-five second sprint for life. You see there is a wind that blows through the Panmun valley that originates somewhere near the north pole and converges with an unusual south pole wind right in front of my office. It's not a particularly hard blowing wind, but the unique combination of north and south freezing winds allows it to actually freeze thought! And the fact that I weigh 150 pounds soaking wet and have approximately -6% body fat is of no real help in defending against the attack of the demon wind. Get the idea. It's cold.

It's funny how people react. Last night as the snow was really beginning to come down, there were a bunch of guys out on the parade field having a snow fight / football game. Just looking at them as I sprinted by made me cold. Nevertheless, despite the cold, it is beautiful. Last night's snow was kind of wet and it stuck to everything. Thus there is a small layer of snow even on the barbed wire surrounding the camp. And the empty rice paddies in the area are frozen solid. A couple of them look like white skating rinks. Today the snow has stopped but the cold won't let it melt despite the clear skies and blazing bright sun. It is so bright outside you almost can't see.

It's nice to stand at my window and look at everything outside. Too bad it's not as inviting as it looks. The forecast is for more snow in a couple of days. Summer is sounding better by the minute.