Snow conclusion

Snow is done! No more snow!

My first snow experience was awesome. The absolute wonder of those little flakes fluttering down to their gentle landing spots, then walking on what seems to be a dense white carpet, only to have your feet sink in and disappear, the sound of ice crunching underneath you soles… I am so thankful for this experience. Even if it meant a long, cold winter.

No, I didn’t like the ice. I didn’t like what happened after a few days of no fresh snow. Walking on old snow is awful. Walking on old snow that’s sort-of melted and then frozen to a smooth, solid path of ice is the most unpleasant experience I’ve had in my time here. Here’s what I now know: traction is your friend.

But the snow is done. I left it behind on the 15th of February when I hopped on a plane and headed for the tropics. While on holiday, there was one more bout of light snowfall, but nothing significant,  I was told. I returned to clear sidewalks, and that was that.

March brought with it spring, daytime temperatures in the positives, and more and more regularly the daytime high would reach double digits. Yay!

And then, on the morning of 20 March (thanks Facebook, for being my diary) during my walk to school, the weather went a little crazy. Random gusts of wind broke out around me, showering me with leaves that, a moment earlier, had been settled on the ground. It started raining – that annoying rain that comes from straight ahead and you can do nothing but tuck in, look down, and brave it. I remember my absolute disbelief when, halfway through my walk, I looked ahead and noticed that that raindrops had turned into snowflakes. IT WAS FRIGGIN’ SNOWING. A-FRIGGIN’-GAIN.

This parent-and-child duo may look excited, but I was not.

This parent-and-child duo may seem excited, but I was not.

I'm a freak and I have two weather apps on my phone. This one was equally depressing.

I’m a freak and I have two weather apps on my phone. This one was equally depressing.

That morning, it snowed non-stop for more than two hours. Thankfully, the snowfall was light, and it was raining in between, and the world is generally a little warmer, so the snow melted as soon as it hit the ground. But it’s the principle of it!

A regular chat conversation about the weather.

A regular chat conversation about the weather.

I’m a stickler for stats, so of course I added it all up. I first saw snow on the last day of November 2012. It was the last day, but it still counts. Add to that snow for most of December, January and February, and that freakish day in March, mix in some artistic license, and one could say that I’ve experienced snow over the course of five months. That’s almost half a year! I mean, it really isn’t, but for this snow newbie, it totally counts.

That said, here’s to spring and warmth and energy and happiness and good vibes all around.

I’ll complain again in summer.

***

This post reminds me of another screenshot I took a few days after the random snowy day. I like to see what the weather’s doing back home, but this time I could only giggle at the contrast.

SC20130323-085338

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~❅S❅N❅O❅W❅~

There are several drafts of posts begging to be finished or published, but today I’d much rather just obsess over all things snow.

Let’s catch up: Snow is an altogether new experience for me. I’ve seen it in pictures and on TV, yes. But I had no idea what it would feel like when it lands on your skin, or when you hold it in your bare hands, or when you fall into a bed of snow that you didn’t realise was quite so deep until half your leg disappeared in it. I didn’t think I’d ever be rolling snowballs and having snowball fights. I’d never considered the sound it might make when you walk on it, or how fresh snow would give way when you touch it.

The area behind my school.

The area behind my school.

On Friday, 30 November I was doing what I do on Fridays – deskwarm. I was happily chatting away with a Facebook contact, when suddenly the status updates came snowing in (geddit?!). First one, then another, then one more, and soon people as close as the next town over started posting about the light snowfall. I commented to my friend that I would “just die” (?) if it started to snow in Munsan, as I was told repeatedly that snow would only come in January (“Korea does not have white Christmas”) and it was still only November (even though it was the last day).  Mere minutes later, it happened: I looked out the window in disbelief. Snow! My first snow!

The soccer field at the front of the school.

The soccer field at the front of the school.

Friday’s snow didn’t really stick, though it was a lot of fun getting all excited and watching the snowfall with the students. They were all padded up and walking around outside; I enjoyed the shelter more.

The following Wednesday, however, was an entirely different story. In the late morning, it started to snow. And snow and snow and snow. It didn’t stop for hours. And then all of the land was white… and it was the most magical thing I’d ever seen.

In the afternoon,  I donned my umbrella for the walk over to Kindergarten (wonderful day to be hoodie-less), and it struck me – I was walking in snow! After Kindie, I walked over to the now solid white soccer field. A few students were arbing around, and they were all too happy for company. One explained the process of rolling a snowball, and I braved the cold to roll my own. So this is how snow feels… 🙂

In the late afternoon, I joined in a snowball fight with a few of the 6th graders. At first they were a little blind-sided by the fact that a teacher was playing with them (and shrieking louder than them most of the time), and I took advantage of the momentary upper hand. They soon warmed to the idea of payback, and I became their target.

Snowball fight!

Snowball fight!

All-in-all, this was one magical day. Walking home was an experience unlike any other. Everything was covered in a thick white blanket (I now understand that description). It felt like I was somewhere entirely different. Side walks and streets flowed into one. The roads were dead quiet. It was just… strange. I concentrated a lot harder on finding my way, despite following that route often enough. The world around me had transformed itself into a solid sheet of white.

Snow angels!

Snow angels!

:)

🙂

I settled into my apartment for the evening, happy that I had had the coolest day ever. At around 21:30 a friend messaged me to invite me out to play in the snow. At first I made excuses, but the seed had been planted, and by 22:00 we were all layered up and making our way to the park across the street from our apartment block. I was in heaven once again! For the next hour, we made snow angels (my first and second ones!), chased each other with handfuls of snow and posed on an icy cold bench. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my existence, even more so because the three people I was with allowed me to be as excited as a kid who saw snow for the first time (oh, wait…), and they got just as excited as me despite being used to it by now.

It’s snowing again today, and every time I peek at the snowflakes falling past my window, I’m drawn back into the magical world of snow. I’m sure that the novelty will wear off pretty soon (this process actually started last night when I kept slipping on old, dirty snow), and getting out of bed in the cold darkness will become old quickly, but for now, I am in a magic world where everything is pretty and white and joyful.

Maybe a wintery Christmas is not the worst thing, after all…

Ami and Cindy huddling on a snow-covered bench with me.

Ami and Cindy huddling with me on a snow-covered bench.