The Parodoxes of Winter

November 26, 2009

So that cold season is here, and with that comes a few changes. Blah blah blah, the leaves have shivered off, I have to relearn how to tie a scarf, I refuse to walk to work, while my friends in California are boasting 80 degree temperatures, I’m trying to get myself out of bed by noon (the cover of two comforters is too good, too toasty to escape. I’m kind of glad I don’t have furniture so I can just sit in bed while writing this). It short, it kind of sucks. But, here in Korea, there are a few puzzling things about winter. Things you wouldn’t expect. Like, it’s strawberry season. I like strawberries– especially when they’re sold from an ajusshi on the back of a truck (right next to the rotisserie chickens being sold out of the back of a truck) at 5,000 won a basket. But, you know, I didn’t think strawberries were winter fruit. I do know it has something to do with greenhouses, etc (someone explained it to me, but I’ve forgotten/wasn’t listening– sorry!) but it’s still, you know… strange.

Another thing that’s strange about Korean winter: in addition to strawberries, it is also super sexy short skirt and shorts season. But April, isn’t it always super sexy short skirt and shorts season?

SNSD. P.S. What the hell does vaguely nautical costuming have to do with a song called “Genie?” Is this just another thing I can’t question, but merely have to accept?

The answer to that question would be yes. As we’ve learned in a post forever ago, it doesn’t matter how many miles (or kilometers, since Korea uses the metric system) of leg you show, as long as you cover up all the flesh underneath your neck with a top, it’s not slutty. Of course, why would you suggest such a thing?

Of course this does not apply to men. Um. I don’t think so. Though admittedly, I don’t see a lot of Korean man chest (am I  going to the wrong places?) Who am I kidding? I just wanted to post a picture of Daniel Henney. Um. Now where was I? Where am I?

ANYWAY…  well what I’m saying is, winter is when every woman seems to be wearing a pair of shorts. When it’s -5 degrees celsius. Why? Why would women brave the chills, feeling of frostbitten limbs to wear a pair of skimpy bottom things?

Oh, I can tell you why– because it looks cuter when you’re wearing a pair of boots, duh. And stockings/leggings of course. So, really it’s super sexy skimpy skirt short with stockings season.

Now, here would be the cultural critique, I could ramble on and on about the constant pressure to look good in Korea’s “Barbie doll culture” (thanks Seong, for the terminology)– how more often that not, women are evaluated on their appearance and are pressured to wear uncomfortable clothing to fit some impossible and harmful ideal…(I’m also thinking of all those Korean women I see clacking down subway stairs and up hills in the thinnest and highest of heels) but all that stuff has been said by more informed, more articulate people. I don’t really need to reiterate it here.

That also being said, I did buy some wool shorts and some stockings and gray boots today. Whoops. There goes my cred. It does look really cute, in my opinion.

Also I really want an anorak. Um, you know, to wear with the shorts.

In other news, Soo and I went to this great Japanese ramen place by the Kunsthalle Space in Nonhyeon.

Look at that broth, how that egg is poached, those mushrooms, that pork. Yum. Now that’s something hot that everybody can get behind (unless you’re a vegetarian, I guess).


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