Winter Spells D.E.A.T.H

Hailing from the little red dot smacked right on the equator, I grew up not knowing what 4 seasons felt like. The only other season I knew of aside from summer was the rainy season. And apart from that, the only information I got about spring, autumn and winter were from books and TV.

8 years ago, between graduation from polytechnic and enlistment into the army, I had 5 months to spare. I decided to use all my savings to visit Japan for the first time and experience a season different from summer. It was mid-spring then. I had also borrowed $1,000 from my dad which I duly returned with the allowance I received from the army. FYI, I don’t like to take money from my parents and that was the only time I borrowed money from them. I like to be self-sufficient. I’m digressing again.

In 2009, I went to 4 different countries throughout the year. Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. Yes, I love travelling. I got to experience spring again in Taiwan and was able to relive the experience years ago. I absolutely loved it. It didn’t matter to me if I didn’t get to see autumn through my travelling because I figured the temperature wouldn’t differ too much from spring. The only thing that I felt that I must see was snow and I had this idea that I would love winter.

During the summer last year, I climbed Mount Fuji and saw snow for the first time in my life. Well, it was more like shaved ice on the ground since it wasn’t exactly snowing but I was thrilled. Yet it wasn’t enough. I wanted to experience the oh-so-beautiful snowing scene that I see so often on TV shows. It must be romantic and amazing.

This year, I finally got to see snow and build a snowman. It was exciting and I definitely loved the experience. I would want to see snow again but I’m beginning to hate winter. The weather is so cold, my toes were getting frost nips and if I hadn’t soaked them in お湯 and massage them after my showers, I’d probably lose them to frost bite sooner or later. But all this wasn’t too surprising to me. I knew that I’d love winter only if it was for a couple of weeks of travelling instead of long-term living. Even though the summer last year was so bad, it literally killed 7 people in Gifu prefecture within the first few days, I knew I’d prefer summer over winter somehow. It’s a contradiction.

I know the summer heat makes people lethargic but winter cools your body muscles so much, you don’t even feel like exercising. The sky gets dark after 5pm so club activities are only around 20 minutes everyday. I’d love to join the students on weekdays but I wouldn’t want to bring all my stuff to school, change into sportswear and just when my body starts warming up, the activity’s over. I’ve actually joined my students once after school and it was really fun but time was so short I was disappointed. So, during the winter holidays, I got the training schedule from the teachers and joined them for training on some of the days. At least 90~120 minutes of basketball each time and I was a happy man.

I can’t wait for winter to be over. I want to play more basketball. But, I also want to see more snow. Human, the contradictory creature.


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