The Weather in Korea/ All at Once

As Central New Jersey goes, so goes southern South Korea.

South Korea, and specifically all points south, are experiencing a pleasant warming trend. For much of the winter, Seoul has been gripped in a bone-chilling tundra, with temperatures sometimes barely rising beyond 10 degrees F., and night temperatures settling in below zero. Busan, along the southeast shore, has fared better by about 20 degrees, but 25 degree days are not necessarily beach weather.

Since the weekend, this trend seems to have snapped, and the little weather display on my desktop read 52 degrees F. for Busan, with Seoul enjoying balmy temps in the 30s. Today, in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, everyone has made for Veteran's Park, including myself, to enjoy temperatures that also are peaking at 52. At least when it comes to weather, I'll have some idea of what I am getting myself into.

I went for a jog for the first time in I am not quite sure how long. It might have been when I had pledged to jog for health several years ago, and Abel, a good friend and former roommate, as well as an avid jogger, took me out for a run. I barely made it through the townhome development adjacent to the house we shared in Princeton. He with his lanky, long legs attempted to shorten his great strides while I, with a saddlebag of flesh around my waist, sucked wind.

No, that was not it. It was with Chris, who took over Abel's room when he moved out. That must have been the last time I went jogging. I was still living in the house, so it had to have been since before June of 2008. Yikes, it's been a while.

Busan by foot and by bike sounds like a much better idea than Busan by car. Not that I plan on getting a car when I am there, but wouldn't it be nice to actually be able to jog great swaths of the city, take it all in from the eyes of someone exerting energy through exercise as opposed to someone trying to keep them open after another bender at the waygookin bar on Haeundae Beach? If I had an inclination, I would find a way to get one of my bikes to South Korea. But, then that would mean I would need to find a way to get it back. And if I learned one thing from my last adventure there, it is to travel light. Trying to navigate three suitcases down a flight of stairs to the subway in a city you have never been to on maybe a few hours sleep -- sporadically stolen between pictures taken of the cloud cover outside your airplane and movie marathons featuring Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Transporter 2 -- is not fun.

It gets easier. It has to. Bike riding gets easier. I remember in 2002 when Dan and I rode everywhere that summer between my junior and senior years. I was lucky to get to Huber Woods Park without getting off to walk it at first. Four years later I was riding 100 miles around Lake Tahoe. Today, I wanted to curl up in a muddy puddle next to the toe path after jogging 50 yards. But, I didn't, I just slowed down, spit up whatever was forming in my throat, walked a bit then got back on the horse. A little further, a little further. You don't have to do it all at once.

You don't have to do it all at once.

—John Dunphy