Lluvia Cae – Korea style

yellow umbrella

Image by solidether via Flickr

It’s summer here in Korea which means it rains.  A lot.  At one point they called it ‘monsoon season,’ but I have seen much worse in a Florida summer than I’ve seen here.  When you see the sky black as night followed by sudden, tornado-like squalls and house-shattering thunder, then we’ll talk.  This is just pouring.  That’s all.

As soon as one drop hits the ground, the Koreans throw up their umbrellas, in synchronization, almost as if they were a flash mob about to start a rendition of Singing in the Rain.  Then they stare at us foreigners like we are crazy for not joining in the colorful circus.  We merely brush off the minuscule droplets and keep walking, dodging the dangerously pointy ends of the umbrellas.  It ends up looking like something akin to Whack a Mole from above with our heads popping in and out of the crowd.

Umbrellas become your right hand during the summer because we walk so much here and can’t chance getting caught in a downpour.  It is only natural that some umbrellas get left behind and picked up by another who left theirs somewhere else, etc.  It’s really quite a lovely dance of serendiptatiousness.  If John Cusack were to write his number on an umbrella and send it out into the Seoulicious universe, I’d get it back in less than 30 days.

But I for one actually love the rain here.  Rain in Korea in summer means that the humidity is not smothering me, that I’m only dripping 1 lb of sweat all day instead of 5 and that maybe, just maybe there will be enough of a breeze to get fresh air into my apartment.  Today while others ducked into the subway for cover or ran across the streets, I calmly walked, twirling the umbrella in my hand, smiling to myself and laughing at how quickly my jeans were getting wet.  I played hopscotch with the puddles and even stopped at a street vendor for some chicken.  I truly enjoy the rain now.  Perhaps that’s because I know longer have to drive in it?  Whatever the reason, think about it…it’s only water.  Why are so many people afraid of a little water?  Sure you might look like a drowned rat when you get to your destination, but you’ll make others around you laugh and we can always use more laughter.

Here is one of my favorite songs to play when I want to smile and dance in the rain.  It’s light-hearted and goofy (especially for Enrique) and always makes me giggly.  For my non-Spanish speaking friends and readers you don’t need a full translation to understand the mood or tone of the song, but basically he’s saying the rain is falling slowly around him, but he doesn’t care because he’s falling in love.

Enrique Iglesias – Lluvia Cae

I dare you to go and dance in the rain while the song’s still fresh in your mind…  😉


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 1cruzdelsur
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 22:52:35

    Aquí en el sur lejano, también llueve¡¡
    Un saludo para ti…


  2. sinpolaris
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 01:55:01

    It’s winter down here in Lima and after 25 days here…still haven’t seen a hint of rain. There’s been a heavy mist a day or 2, but not even enough for “chispiando” (probably misspelled that one). I am curious to see how Peruvians handle umbrella culture. My favorite place for rain was Hawaii. There, the people just look up and shrug becase they know it will be over in 5 minutes.


    • ficklefolly
      Aug 17, 2011 @ 14:22:15

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Yeah in Florida, the locals would hide under a cover for 20 minutes then head back onto the beach because the summer storms are fierce but short.


  3. Vicky Bateman
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 01:59:01

    hey tiffani! ive been reading ur blog.^^ always fun to read when i’m bored.^^ but the reason why koreans hide from the rain is because they believe that the rain mixes with the pollution and can cause baldness. unfortunately, it’s not just rain coming out from the sky. but whether or not it actually causes baldness or other bad side effects, who knows. ^^


    • ficklefolly
      Aug 17, 2011 @ 14:19:32

      Hey Vicky! Thanks for reading. 🙂 That sounds like a typical reason here, makes sense. I don’t think a few drops every now and then will make you bald though. There are far worse things to worry about like the amount of soju they drink. What cracks me up is the people outside smoking who were still concerned about the radiation level in the rain. I think the cigarette will kill you sooner than the rain will buddy! hahaha


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