Yet another typhoon came our way. This time it was typhoon Sanba and it was the strongest of the three so far. Well, strongest in the sense that at one point it time it had been a Cateogry 5 typhoon, the strongest there is, whereas Bolaven and Tembin were “only” Category 4 at their strongest points.
Good news is that by the time any of them got up here, they had weakened to about Category 1 or a tropical storm, and all of them managed to avoid Seoul to a good degree. Not saying that we didn’t observe them. Sure, there was wind and lots of rain and out of the three, Sanba was the worst, but nothing extraordinary here. On average, Korea sees three typhoons per typhoon season, so hopefully that was it for now.
Low clouds bringing rain into SNU campus from typhoon Sanba
One interesting thing in Korea comes out during the rain, namely the little baggies for umbrellas. On a rainy day, many public buildings and shops have one of the below thingies near their entrance. Some smaller places might have only a large bucket where you leave your umbrella, but the contraptions below are very common in larger places.
You fold your umbrella and then you insert it top down into the little baggy that is already waiting. You push down the umbrella and then pull it out towards the front. This detaches the baggy from the next baggy and pulls the next baggy in the ready-position. Pretty nifty and there’s usually a small one for small umbrellas and a large one for large umbrellas. The umbrella stays in the baggy while you are in and when you leave, you leave the baggy next to the contraption so that they can be collected and recycled.
The benefits of this is that you don’t get wet umbrellas dripping water all over the place making the floor slippery and possibly dangerous. One down side is that since the umbrella is in a plastic bag, it won’t have any chance whatsoever to dry, so the baggy remains somewhat damp. It beats putting a dripping umbrella in your bag, but it’s not the same as putting a completely dry umbrella in the bag; things may get wet or at least damp. Still, I find this a pretty nifty thing.
I’ve seen similar stuff in other Asian countries, so it’s not just Korea where you can see them. I’ve never seen something like this in Europe. One thing that obviously wonders me is which of the two approaches is more ecological and environmentally friendly. Making plastic baggies consumes resources (sure, recycling helps) but it keeps the buildings cleaner with less risk of accidents should people slip on the puddles left by water dripping from umbrellas. I don’t know which way this equation falls, but until someone actually puts the numbers together, I’ll happily slip my umbrella into the little baggy on a rainy day.