There isn’t much rain in Korea. At least not during the fall, winter, and spring. Most of the rainfall for the entire year comes in July. However, it does sprinkle occasionally outside of that window.
When it rains, Koreans are prepared. It is a pretty devastating thing to be caught without an umbrella. It can probably ruin your day if you are Korean. Just about EVERYONE carries an umbrella on a rainy day. I don’t know if that’s more common in the cities of America, I never lived in a place like New York, but in the land of suburbia, umbrellas just aren’t that prevalent.
A few weeks ago, I decided to go ahead and buy an umbrella – not because I particulary need it. I don’t intend to spend alot of time walking outside in the rain. If I do, a raincoat is more than enough for me. I bought one because I want to keep the obsessively worried Koreans from thinking I’ll melt in the rain.
I’m not kidding. They do worry about that. And if I show up without an umbrella, they will go nuts trying to make sure that I am covered. You see, the rain we get comes by way of China. And China represents alot of unpleasant memories in the minds of Koreans. Their army supported the North during the Korean war. But also, all those factories pollute the air that eventually makes its way over the Korean peninsula. They are worried sick about the rain bringing harmful pollutants. Fair concern, I guess, but c’mon. A jacket is sufficient. Plus, I don’t like to carry things in my hands. And an umbrella is a nuisance.