Despite the days reaching 29 (84 Fahrenheit) the mornings these days have a crispness to the air. Seoul was absolutely oppressive all of August, so it's a nice change that lasts until I step into my office. Having worked for Korean government in the capacity of teacher, I know that decisions can be arbitrary. Thus the building I currently work in was probably one of several designs submitted and the Person in Charge of Choosing (that's an official title), chose what they liked, not what is practical.
The front of the building is shaded by the glassy back of the building. This helps keep the large four stories high atrium hot in the summer and cold in the winter while ensure all of the offices are sweltering. Since the atrium is expensive to heat and cool, all the staff in the building are charged with energy conservation in the offices.
Thankfully woman can wear shorts to work. No, men cannot wear shorts. What kind of dress code do you think the our company has? Anyway, since we have no afternoon classes my dress attire is quite casual. Nevertheless, I threatened to come to work in a bikini yesterday. The air conditioning was turned off because its late September actual temperature notwithstanding. Also notwithstanding is fall attire. Koreans are donning long sleeve blouses, trousers and jackets. It's fall, and though global warming has raised the temperatures, that doesn't mean one shouldn't dress for fall.
From an American standpoint, I find this is amusing in the same way I find running to buy an umbrella every time it sprinkles funny. It does feel socially ... awkward... to be wearing shorts and t-shirts amid hundreds of fall attired people. Then I get to my office and all is well.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).