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Summer conflicts arise as heat wave grips the nation

Posted July. 27, 2018 07:36,   

Updated July. 27, 2018 07:36


In a reading room of a university library in Mapo-gu, Seoul on Sunday afternoon, the air conditioner turned off all of the sudden even though no one pressed the button. Ms. Jeon who came to study to avoid the heat turned on the air conditioner again, but shortly after, the air conditioner turned off.

It turned out that a person using the reading room got cold and turned off the air conditioner with a smart remote-control application without letting others know. Certain air conditioners can be turned off by installing an application on a smart phone of the same manufacturer. “As coldness and heat is felt differently by each people, you can hear the air conditioner turning on and off in the reading room often these days,” said Ms. Jeon. “It is annoying even worse on a hot day like this.”

With continuing scorching heat, "heat conflict" is occurring in various places including schools, cafes, and studios. Ms. Oh, a cafe owner this reporter met on Wednesday, let out a deep sigh. Let alone students who study at cafes, there are even people who stay at the place to save electricity. The problem is that it is frequent to see people come in together and order one to two coffees or not order at all and leave the café after cooling off.

In studios and one-room apartment complexes, "cigarette wars" broke out. At a studio building in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul that this reporter visited on Thursday, there was a message on the elevator saying "Please do not smoke at home." This is because more residents are smoking at home rather than smoking at a designated place outside due to the hot weather. Residents complain as the smoke from the cigarettes smear into other people’s house through the ventilation window of the bathroom.

Experts say that it is necessary for people to be considerate of each other as discomfort index increases in the hot weather. “It is natural for people to have difficulty in controlling their emotions due to the sizzling heat,” said Baek Jong-woo, a psychiatry professor at Kyung Hee University. “Conflicts can only be reduced when people become more considerate and understanding.”

Teuk-Gyo Koo kootg@donga.com