Friday, July 25, 2008

The Heat is Getting to Me...

The weather in Geoje had been humid since mid-June. But when I walked out of my house on Tuesday, it was something more. Something that we can’t adequately express in English. The air was thick with what looked like light fog, but it wasn’t cool like it usually is when fog is around. And it didn’t have that brownish twinge and chemical odor that smog has either. This was something different.

The air was so moist and hot that it was condensing on my skin the instant I set outside. I knew this was condensation and not sweat because I had been in the air conditioning all night and I wasn’t hot enough to begin sweating. No, this was condensation. Like that puddle the forms around a cold glass of water, or when you grab a can of beer from the fridge and its already dripping water onto the floor by the time you get it back to your chair. Except, instead of a cold aluminum can, it is my skin doing the condensation.

The air was so humid that I imagined, if a person were light enough, they might be able to swim through it. The image of my kindergarten students jumping up and swimming through the sky came to me. In their little summer tank tops and sandals, they’d kick their pudgy legs and gain altitude. The air was so moist that.

I imagined that a slight change of physics—like an increase of the constant of gravity, or a slight change in the rotation of the earth--would cause all the moisture to condense at once and flood the town and soak all the people, except the delicate little ladies that had been using umbrellas to block the sun—they’d be dry. But the rest of us would be up to our ankles in water until the water was drained away and we’d be left with a crisp cool air and blue skies with no haze. My kindergartners would be standing up after having been gently put to the ground and I could turn my air conditioner off. And I wouldn’t sweat.


  1. As Mark Twain should have said, "Everybody talks about the humidity, but nobody does anything about it."

    I live in the American southeast (at least for another month) and your description of Geoje is not too far off from Georgia.

    I have been reading your blog since I began looking into moving to Korea--sounds like it's quite a ride!

  2. ha ha ha... you mean that blanket of humidity that covers you? The one that makes you dry off three times after getting out of the shower? I hate that


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