What I Now Know About Snow

#1: It’s Awesome

Yes it truly is. Aside from making everything look completely different, it makes your surroundings so wonderfully quiet. Going to sleep to the sound of absolute silence is a sublime experience in itself.

The powdery stuff that falls in Hokkaido is also not as… wet, for lack of a better description. I can jump around in the stuff and avoid total freezing wetness of doom by simply shaking the powder off. Sure it’s cold as hell if you touch it with bare skin, but who’s that dumb. Pshh, it’s not like I’d try and make a snowball with my bare hands or anything…

#2 Snowballs!

I have been told time and time again from numerous sources that this snow is no good for making snowballs. And this, I can safely say, is utter rubbish! Instead of horsing around in the school gyms during breaks, I now gear up and begin epic wars of snowball battle against the students. Simple physics insist that, if you compact the snow enough, it will harden into ice and thus become a projectile to be used in deadly combat. And I must say I derive a pleasure from snowball fights that I don’t think I’ve enjoyed since I was but a wee lad, riding my bike and pulling faces. Sometimes I can’t believe I get paid for this!

#3 Creature Comforts

Having an ambient temperature below zero degrees outside means one enjoys the warmth of indoors all the more. I have a newfound respect for my apartment’s kerosene heater, as well as for the packets of Aero and Swiss Miss hot chocolate I have picked up. The only thing missing is a wood fire. But I think a fire in these tight residential areas would be rather… calamitous!

Also my fleece blankets, long Johns (get it? Long Johns? Oh nevermind) and new arctic jacket of doom are all wonderful clothing items that I never previously needed in Durban’s sweltering heat.

Put simply I still love this snowiness. Perhaps it’ll wear off soon enough though. To be certain, having my car doors frozen shut in the morning was… irksome, and trying to pry open a door in sub-zero temperature, while you begin running late for work is frustrating, but with a little lubricant on the seals I can sort that out. It’s simply due to inexperience rather than winter being ‘bad’. Much like wearing sunscreen in summer, it’s just something you learn to do after burning yourself beet red.

Sure many say ‘but it’s so cold! And miserable!’ and to that I quote somebody I overheard in Jo’burg’s comparatively mild winter:

‘There are two kinds of cold people in this world: Poor people and stupid people’

And that, pretty much, is the gist of it. Needless to say, I won’t be making snowballs with my bare hands again anytime soon!

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