Monsoon is bad weather for some, good for others

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Monsoon is bad weather for some, good for others

“I hate the rainy season,” complained the owner of a shoe repair shop surnamed Kim. One of three shoe repair stores near Sillim Station, Kim’s shop was more or less closed Tuesday because of the monsoon. “Who would come to the shop to clean their shoes on rainy day,” Kim said.

But even though the number of customers has dropped to one-tenth of a usual day, Kim still came to work. “Nothing to do at home, I came to work because I have nowhere to go on a rainy day,” Kim said, giving a hollow smile.

Kim, who usually has seven or eight customers on a normal day, did not have any customers on this day.

As the monsoon has continued for three weeks, the weather map has changed for different occupations. The weather outlook for shoe repair stores, service drivers and car washes is cloudy at best. “Having few customers in summer and fewer during rainy season, service drivers have only 200,000 calls, one third of the high season, or 600,000 calls,” said Lee Jung-min, of the Korea Service Driver Society.

The planning director, surnamed Lee, said that people prefer taking public transportation and going home early without drinking on rainy days.

“One wet day actually helps sales. However, I can’t even save labor costs on rainy seasons, like these days,” said Hwang Yun-sung, who runs a car wash business in Dongjak-gu, Seoul.

Also, the elderly who collect waste paper near residential areas to eke out a living move to subway stations around this time of the year.

On the other hand, some businesses are grateful for the monsoon.

The weather map is sunny for takeout food businesses like Chinese restaurants and for indoor malls.

“Usually in the summer, hot and greasy Chinese food isn’t popular. But because of the rain, the sales per day have gone way up,” said the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Sillim, Seoul. The restaurant is making 150 deliveries a day, about 60 more calls a day than usual.

And indoor malls, though less influenced by weather conditions, are seeing more visitors as well.

“Normally at Coex we are visited by 100,000 people on weekdays and 150,000 on weekends, Coex has more customers during the rainy season, with around 120,000 to 150,000 on weekdays and 200,000 on weekends,” a Coex spokesman said. An increase in visitors is also being seen at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, during the monsoon.

By Lee Han-gil, Han Hae-ran []
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