Winter Is Here

What I discovered about snow while living in South Korea was that “snow is fun until it’s not.” Snow coated trees, garden and paths are spectacular until they become slush from heavy boots. Making snow balls is fun until your fingers freeze under the cloth and your outer gloves are damp. As the temperatures in Johannesburg once again take a dip, I’m reminded of colder, snowy days in Incheon.
One particular day comes to mind.

It’s a cold winters night. The snow starts to fall again as I head up a road to my cosy home after a teachers dinner at school. I’m all layered up including ear muffs, a beanie, gloves and a feather down jacket. I thought that I had been cold before but apparently I was wrong.
The pathway leading to my school
It has been snowing all afternoon, so it there the layers of snow are quite thick. Each time I take a step forward I misjudge how soft the snow is and seem to fall right through the snow. I start taking smaller steps but this means not quite taking my legs all the way out the snow as I take a step. As I shuffle along, my shins begin to feel a little colder, the snow falls harder and I don’t seem to be making much progress on a road I usually power up.
The lovely children’s park in the light of day
Inevitably my shuffle dance leads to me tripping on uneven ground outside the children’s park. I fall on my bum and burst into laughter. Crazy hysterical laughter because I’m cold, tried and confused because I can’t seem to walk in this snow properly. Those passing by are shocked. In horror, they cross to the other side of the road. Now I’m this crazy foreigner sitting in the snow in the middle of the night laughing hysterically.
I started to wonder what I was thinking coming to this winter land. I thought I would never be that cold again. I swore that I would never complain about being cold again.

Each morning as I wake up in my chilly room and look out the window at the frost forming on everything; in the evenings as the thought of stepping out the office door already freezes my blood, as I curse the steel gate as I push it open: I realised that…I LIED!

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