Korean Summer Survival
South Korea has all four seasons: winter, summer, autumn, and spring. The whole country looks differently each season and with every each one of them has its own charm. Summer has its own ups and downs. If we forget for a second about long-awaited summer vacations, swimming in the sea and laughing on the beaches, there is one main problem that is unavoidable and that is the heat.
Koreans sure have some options for how to survive during this heat. The high levels of humidity do not help to feel any better, may I tell you. It just getting worse by any passing second. If you do not know how else to find a piece of calmness for a little while, keep on reading. Koreans may have some answers for you.
- We begin with the most shocking one among all the other options. Koreans believe that in order to fight the unforgiving heat you must eat the hottest dish as well, both in temperature and spiciness. One of the classic heat food is samgyetang – a whole boiled chicken in a broth, nakji bokkeum – octopus stir-fried with the spiciest sauce, yukgaejang – a spicy soup made of beef and vegetables. To tell you the truth, I was the most skeptical about this survival tip. But among these dishes, the only one I could try was samgyetang, because in all the other cases the spiciness is not my friend. Even though you may not find this tip to be effective, the healthiness of the dish will gain positive points. You think that the whole chicken is too much, but as soon as you start eating, it is enough and it is good and there is nothing better.
2. Portable fan. The 100% must-have item during the summer period. Some of those fans have a size smaller than my hand, but do they do their work and make your life so much easier? Oh, yes! There are fans with straps that you can hang around your neck, there are those who have a hand strap and the coolest thing is there is two small spaceship-like fans, that you can hang on your neck and do not even have to move a finger – the cool air will just keep the heat away. I have not seen a single person without a portable fan. Everywhere you go they sell it either for cheep starting from 5000 won to more complicated fans with power bank for 20.000 won and more. It is also a nice and unique present from South Korea to your friends and family.
3. Ice pack or cool pack. That is a sure an interesting thing. Maybe some of you already know those famous heat packs that make your life so much better during cold cold winter. As soon as you shake a little bit those things the temperature inside of them may rise up to 45 degrees. These ice packs work the same way, but instead of the heat, there is a cool feeling. After the pack is no longer cool you can just put it in a freezer for an hour and then be good to go again.
4. Ice cream. Oh, yeah! As soon as summer comes almost all of the markets nearby sell 10 different kinds of ice creams for only 3000 won. What a bargain may I notice! Those ice creams sure go very fast, but you can always buy a dozen more. In the same category, we have a bingsu. The best summer dessert ever. Bingsu is not only just a shaved ice with some jam, no.
Bingsu has a variety of different tastes: from red bean and strawberry to a seasonal watermelon and melon. With additional cubes of cheese or maybe macaroons the desert becomes your very best friend during this heat. For a little while, you can forget about all the sweat and heavy breathing and just enjoy bingsu with your family and friends.
- AA. What kind of abbreviation is that you may ask. It is simply what no Korean can live without and I must tell that now I know that I can not too. AA means ” ice americano”.
- Naengmyeon. The dish that I would have never imagined to exist if I did not come to Korea. This is cold noodles. Usually, it consists of buckwheat noodles, nicely boiled eggs, some cucumber, other vegetables, and ice. Fast tip: make sure to chop the noodles with scissors beforehand. They are so slippery that you may have some trouble eating them all at once.
7. Air-conditioning. It just works everywhere you go metro, bus, cafe, market, at your own house. It is always working to the full power and more often than not you just get very very cold in the process. Add to the fact that more than likely you are wearing shorts, in a couple of minutes you are just freezing. So, my advice is always to take a light cardigan with you.
And the most important thing is always to stay hydrated and put on sunscreen.
1. Samgyetang https://www.koreatodo.com/tosokchon-samgyetang
2. Portable fan https://blog.naver.com/sulhahaha/221941893189 https://smartstore.naver.com/airpodspot/products/4969928958?NaPm=ct%3Dksg2r28w%7Cci%3D79ef2194453ae59cd2918bf88f8bee6eddc006d7%7Ctr%3Dimg%7Csn%3D927770%7Chk%3Dfa637b77d23793b8c41f745da71ccbf35a784f66
3. Cool pack https://blog.naver.com/lldzzzz/222407490840
5. Ice americano https://blog.naver.com/swjig/222077688287