I gave up arguing with my wife over the inside temperature about three years into our marriage. Don’t think for a second I copped out early. Koreans typically find June thru September to be too hot and November thru April too cold, this leaves only two months of tolerable temperatures for Koreans, October and May.
Let’s take the non tolerable 10 months, average them to 30 days each, that means 300 arguments a year, multiply that by three years and that’s roughly 900 times I suggested putting on some pants, a shirt and sweater in mid winter or turning down the AC to non deep freezer levels in the summer.
After 900 battles I realized it was easier for me to endure the sweaty winter nights and massive gas bills then engage in the same argument that never seemed to go anywhere, or worse yet, if I did get my way, deal with very audible discomfort the entire night and following day.
As I lay there in bed, sweating, feeling suffocated like in a Jimjilbang (Korean Sauna) I reminisced of my child hood in Canada, cool air cascading from the windowpane onto my face as lay there, the rest of me all warm and cozy under the eiderdown. I justified the compromise with “When in Korea…” and I knew soon it would be MY TURN!
My turn finally came the fall of 2019. We moved back to Canada and let me tell you IT’S FUCKING COLD!!! It’s a wet, west coast cold that permeates everything and the chill goes straight to your bones. The reason it’s so cozy under that eiderdown is because it’s protecting you from freezing to death, you would feel cozy under a corrugated steel panel if it was keeping rain off of you. So this fall, winter and spring we have a problem, I DO NOT WANT TO GET OUT OF BED.
Having no desire to leave the bed results in a a pretty massive productivity hit. I haven’t gotten up early to work out once since arriving. Imagine you do work out, then you have to deal with the post shower cold, you know, when you step out of the nice warm steamy shower stall into freezing. The floor is wet and cold, the air is chilly, then your child swings open the bathroom door, all the steam escapes and you get hit with another Arctic breeze. I haven’t dealt with that shit in 15 years!
I might just give up the cool night air on my face for heated floors again. What were we Canadians thinking with baseboard heaters and open fire places? Was our intention to heat the ceiling? Slippers were the best investment we made this fall.
My wife and daughter have been handling the situation surprisingly well. Although my wife will still utter “춥다 / cold” 10-20 times a day she is enduring it in layers of marino wool and goose down as opposed to cranking up the thermostat. My daughter hasn’t even mentioned the cold and she is hanging out in shorts, skirts and bare feet most of the time! The last few nights she has been sleeping on top of her blankets with the window open! I think she is more Canadian than me.
One thing I’m sure of is that we are consuming less energy than before and that make me happy. Yes, it’s nice to save a little money but what makes me happier is to think we’re saving the earth just a tad. Our home temperature in Seoul would never have dropped below 19 degrees. Today we woke up to 16 degrees in our kitchen. We only heat the spaces we need when we need them.
Once I have a few months of heating bills I’ll share the results, hopefully we will see some savings.
It’s late here. Time to make the run from my cozy office to the bedroom and curl up under those blankets with that cool air cascading onto my face.