So, apparently I have befallen to becoming more and more Korean. I learned in the summer after 11th grade about “fan death”. I was away at Girls’ State for a week in the worst freaking I thought I had ever encountered (until Durham and ChunCheon of course) when my dad told me NOT to fall asleep with the fan pointed at my face (which in my opinion is the coolest way to fall asleep sans AC). He told me I could suffocate if I did that. I had no idea how this was possible and laughed at him but he made me promise, so I pointed it at my feet.
Since being in Korea, this was one of the “funny” cultural things we discussed at Orientation. “Fan Death.” Well, my homestay family has been sleeping in the living room where the AC unit is and has told me I’m welcome to leave my door open or join them since my room is small and smotherific. I apologetically told them how I need absolute dark and silence to fall asleep and slept the first night with my door a crack open. It was so hot I can’t believe I survived. Last night my host father (이모부) set up a little fan in my room next to my bed. I closed my door tightly and worried for about an hour what to do with the fan. I thought there might be some kind of logic to not having a fan in a tiny airtight room that could possibly cause some kind of air depression, which would subsequently smother me. (This is apparently the scientific explanation for fan death). So after battling the fan death debate in my mind and wondering if this is one of many signs I’m adjusting to Korean culture and then wondering about the headlines for “DEAD: American Shiny program loses GIK to FAN DEATH!!!” I finally turned on the fan, pointed it deliberately at my feet and then set the timer to 30 minutes. I figured that was short enough NOT to create a depression, my feet wouldn’t suffocate in 30 minutes, and it would turn off before I realized I couldn’t breathe.
This morning, at breakfast, my host father told me I should always set the timer before going to sleep because if the fan is left on all night and I have my door so tightly closed, well, it’s dangerous. And he is a doctor. So I’m all about the timer on my fan now. It’s already getting a little cooler though from one day to another. As soon as September happens, we should be fine. =)