August 22, 2011
Ah yes, it’s summertime in Korea. How do we know? The cicadas are in full bloom. If you don’t know what that is – as we didn’t when we first came to Korea – it’s not a flower. Cicada (known as “Maemi,” in Korean 매미) are really large and icky looking bugs that are totally harmless, but really loud.
They don’t fly in your face or anything, and they don’t bite. In fact, they’re hard to see unless you’re staring up at the highest branches of the trees. They won’t physically get in your way at all. But they will scream their godforsaken lungs out incessantly, desperately trying to meet a cicada girl (only the males can scream). Remember that scene from Dumb and Dumber when they talk about the most annoying sound in the world?
It was the Cicada he was referring to. We feel like they’re the obnoxious neighbours that blast really loud music non-stop and no matter how many times you ask them to turn it down, you have no choice but to put up with it in the end. Good news is that they only come out during the hottest time of year, so normally that’s June-August, but this year since we had so much rain and terrible weather, we only started really hearing them this month. If you haven’t visited Korea but you have watched Korean dramas, you can hear them making uninvited cameos in the background.
“You really mean a lot to me…”
“You really need a lobotomy? What?”
“NO! That’s not what I said…damn cicadas!!!!”
Despite our irritation with these bugs, they really start to grow on you (not literally or you’d scream like a schoolgirl). If you’re sitting in the park the thousands of songs can flood out other sounds and create almost a peaceful “HUM”. Also, we’re starting to feel like summer is just not summer without those annoying buggers (har har har..get it?). In fact, you can hear the soundtrack of the cicadas being played in some Korean grocery stores when they’re selling watermelons…what a clever marketing tool to give Korean shoppers an adrenaline rush of happy summer feelings. ACT CRAAAAZY AND BUY TONS OF WATERMELONS! IT’S THE SUMMER!!!! *Simon and Martina buy 30*
Anyways, I think we now have a love-hate relationship with these cicadas. If there is one important message we want to get across about these creatures, it’s HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGH!