Shiver me timbers because winter weather has finally arrived in Korea. I also have just finished up my final exams so I am excited to be done for the semester! In this blog, I will be putting together some items that are essential if you want to survive the freezing weather, possible sicknesses, and even snow while living in South Korea.
Well, I want to start by saying that pharmacies and health centers scare me. Especially in a foreign country, I was very hesitant to go to one in fear that I might not understand what they were prescribing me or how I would explain in Korean that a certain area of my body was sick or hurt. A few weeks ago, I had a sore throat because of the sudden weather change where the temperature went from a constant 60 degrees to a flat 20 and below degrees. So, after 4 days of holding out, I finally went to a pharmacy nearby to ask for some medicine. The whole process took less than 5 minutes and the medicine itself was super inexpensive! All I had to say was “목감기” and they asked for clarification about if I had a cough (which I didn’t). The person behind the counter then gave me two things of medicine and wrote how many I was supposed to take on the boxes and that was it. I was amazed.
Tip: When shopping for cough drops in South Korea, you can find the Ricola ones at marts or convenience stores. They cost around $2 (2,000₩) usually.
OOF. My closet was not ready for a true winter in Korea. Firstly, I had no gloves or warm socks. Secondly, I only have so many sweaters and shirts to layer every day. Lastly, Korea’s chilly winter breeze always makes me and my room very cold so thank goodness for a warm AC unit. While experiencing the environment change here, I have had to invest in a good pair of winter socks, thermals, hand warmers galore (seriously, they are life savers. although they take up to an hour to actually become warm…), and a good puffer jacket. They are called 롱패딩 or “long padding” jackets here and they come in handy for this type of weather!! I would highly advise investing in one early before December comes around as stores raise their prices for them around that time. Also, having a good beanie and a scarf would be ideal to keep your head, neck, and ears warm.
EVERYONE. I HAVE WITNESSED IT. MY FIRST TRUE SNOW IN SOUTH KOREA. It began to flurry and then proceeded to full-on snow for around 2 hours. AND IT STUCK the next day.
Yes, I will add my snow pictures just for your entertainment. Enjoy~~
Overall, I would suggest stocking up on these miscellaneous items as they help for various reasons:
- Air humidifier – $5 at Daiso for combating the air pollution and air quality
- Tea – pretty inexpensive at Daiso, but not many flavor options. I like peppermint, but a lot of stores only sell green tea or barley wheat/brown rice tea (+ a tea mug)
- Sugar – Boy. The hunt for this was so hard. I had to go to three different stores just to find it for $2 at a GS25
- Honey – Unless you use honey on a daily basis, this is a very expensive item in Korea. You will not find the typical small thing of honey in the shape of a bear here, but a large 19oz bottle that costs around $17
- Vitamin C gummies – essential and delicious!
- Salt – for days where you have a sore throat, but don’t think that you need medicine so you just gargle salt in hot water instead
- Hand Warmers – JUST YES.
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