Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Seoul Is Changing

Red Skies in Seoul

Something strange is happening to this city...

At the start of August I left rain soaked Seoul for ten days in rain soaked Edinburgh and when I came back I found myself in what felt like a different place.

As we flew into Incheon, everything seemed so clear. I could see every boat, every road, every nook and cranny of this crowded and chaotic peninsula, and as we drove into Seoul the skies were blue and I could see for miles and miles.

How odd.

This may not be so noticeable for relative newcomers, but after a decade living under the yellow haze of pollution, looking up at the sky and seeing rather indistinct shadows and a blurred sun, this past month has come as a revelation. We've had our good days and bad days, but late August into mid-September has given us some stunning skies and some gorgeous clouds. I don't remember enjoying the heavens so much in the last eleven years and I'm thankful that I can look out across the Han river every morning on my way to work and enjoy the view.

Maybe it was the ridiculously long and ridiculously heavy monsoon season, maybe Seoul is getting cleaner, maybe the sky gods are smiling down on us... Whatever the cause may be, it makes me happy.

Long may these clear skies reign, before Seoul changes its mind and the smog comes back again.

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