Korea put up the first red flag alert of the season for yellow dust yesterday. This is an annual rite of spring on the peninsula caused by dust from the Gobi Desert in China blowing across the appropriately named Yellow Sea. I first wrote about this phenomenon back in 2005 while working in Andong. When I went jogging today it was still quite hazy, so I jogged on the treadmill in the gym instead of on the soccer field, where I usually go when the weather is nice–didn’t want to fill my lungs up with dust. When I jog I’m like an old steam locomotive, huffing and puffing away, sucking in air like a drowning man going down for the last time. Six older Korean ladies were out taking their daily walk around the field, and they all were wearing surgical masks. Click here for a photo of dust-enshrouded Seoul if you’re interested.
Good news about the jogging. A couple of my students from last semester saw me for the first time since the start of this semester and stopped to say hello. “Anderson, hello, you are sooooo thin. You have lost weight! (giggle-giggle)” (They’re girls, by the way.) Well, I haven’t felt like I’ve lost all that many pounds (and I haven’t), but of course their compliment made me feel good about my efforts, so I celebrated with a candy bar. 😀 More (candy?) later.