Tuesday, October 26, 2010


My Facebook newsfeed is very confused at the moment. More so even than usual, when feminist activism follows photos of girls dressed as bunnies for Halloween follows pictures of my father clutching fish follows news items about people unknowingly getting penises (penii?) tattooed on their backs. The changing of the seasons is occurring in both the places in the world that I have called home (Narnia does not count, unfort) - but in one, a tepid but wet winter is slowing morphing into an intermittent spring, and in the other a raging, feverous summer has backhanded the whole population with a stormy, earthquake-y winter. So while half my friends are leaving delighted exclamatory comments about their tan and bikini lines, the other half are bemoaning the fact that they have not yet purchased their "Yak Tracks" (to those not in the know, as I was not, these are weirdo rubbery spikey thingamies that you slip over your existing shoes in order to gain purchase on icy ground and avoid ass contact with the same. Much like the spikes on soccer shoes, I am told, as I would know, had I ever engaged in sport).

I'm not sure if I'm jealous of the former or simply pleased to be part of the latter. I've known many warm Octobers, where one combines woolly hats with denim shorts in order to best straddle the seasons. I've spent many days pretending to study for end-of-year exams with text-books spread over my face to avoid further reddening my prominent nose. But I've never had a winter start as violently and uncompromisingly as the one I now find myself experiencing. IT'S ONLY OCTOBER. I have not yet seen Halloween, and yet, I have seen snow.


(Does the video even work? Have I attempted to blog beyond my skills?! If so, just pretend it works, for me. So you can do it convincingly, I pan around for a while, looking at snow, get briefly confused by a smudge on the window that looks like a crow, and then get startled when Aravin sneezes - loudly - beside me. I am M. Night Shamalalmalamalan. Or someone else who makes movies. Does the M stand for "Mid"? Interesting).

Do you enjoy the moment at the end where Manfriend sneezes and looks bewildered? I do. It reminds me somewhat of Winnie the Pooh. I also think it is an apt salute to winter, much more suitable than a round of applause or a stately bow.

The POINT of the video though is not to show how ridiculous Aravin looks when forced out of bed at 6am to stare at the window, but to show you want had me staring out the window, spilling my coffee (DEATH) and bellowing at my Manfriend.


Though it is true that I live on the eleventh floor and that the snow was largely rain by the time it hit the ground; though it is also true that "It isn't snow unless it sticks"; though it cannot be denied that by 11am the sun was shining and there was no proof that it had ever happened, winter has come to Sapporo. I knew I would be excited when the first snow fell. It meant I got to wear my boots and my favourite fur coat and my new woolly hat. It meant I got to stick out my hand and catch snow flakes (slash icy sleet). It meant I got sit on the subway and veritably stew in my ridiculous number of layers and new Icebreakers fresh from home (thanks Ma). I am told that from tomorrow the weather will warm back up to a temperate 15 degree high and we won't see proper snow again for some weeks, but I feel gratified by my first experience in true falling snow.

I had other things to talk about but I've forgotten them in the excitement of today.

I ate some of this:

I drank some of this:

I went to a cool bar that reminded me of Wellington, where the ceiling looked like this:

But by far the most educational experience was learning about this:

Who knew.

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