My first real experience with spring, or 봄, (bom) was in Korea. I’m originally from Miami, FL, and there is no real change in seasons there, so experiencing this in Korea was a real treat for me! I always looked forward to spring, as winters are quite long in Korea. Everything came back to life, there were beautiful flowers to see, and their scents floated through the air. Despite the allergies, nasal infections, and migraines from yellow dust, (at times a major downside), spring also brought me back to life. I would physically, and mentally feel better when the weather started to warm up, and there were signs of life again, like birds chirping.
There were plenty of spring flower festivals around Korea, which was a cool thing to experience, as I’d never seen some of these flowers before. The cover photo for this post was taken in the spring of 2015. The students were still on spring break, so the principal invited the staff/teachers that were present to lunch. Afterwards, the office staff kidnapped me to go to a HUGE canola field not too far from where I lived/worked. There were food trucks, and tables set out, as many were enjoying the nice weather and flowers.
Spring was the time where I could finally shed my winter coat, in favor for less heavy clothing. I’m quite sensitive to cold weather, so sometimes it would be June until I could go outside for a full day without long sleeves. I love being outdoors, and spring was perfect to go to baseball games, take long walks, or just enjoy a meal outside.
Spring was also cherry blossom season! Cherry blossoms only last for about 2 weeks or so, and luckily I lived close enough to a park that had tons of them! Walking down the path was like walking in an enchanted forest. I’d have to say that this was the best part of spring for me, and one thing that I miss seeing.
The thing that I disliked the most about spring in Korea, was the yellow dust, which is particularly bad during this season. You can look it up for more of a scientific explanation, but in a nutshell, yellow dust originates in China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. It sweeps down throughout East Asia with particles of dust, as well as pollution. There were times that the air was so bad, that I’d get a notification on my phone to stay indoors if possible, and to wear a mask if going outdoors. Yellow dust was the source of many nasal infections, and piercing migraines I had while living there. You can’t get away from air pollution while living in Korea, but there are things that can be done. I’d check an app on my phone every morning to see how the air was. If it were bad, I’d wear a mask, and even put my hair in a protective style. I also made sure to keep my apartment clean by dusting, sweeping, and mopping often.
Korean springs are quite short, but definitely a beautiful thing to experience. Being out in nature has always perked me up when I needed it, and it’s so much nicer when the things around you are also nice.