It was Tuesday, December 6. Just like any other evenings, the weather was cold and the streets were deserted except for a few cars whizzing through the rain.
During winter season, night crawls in around 5PM. Window blinds are rolled down early because there’s nothing outside but darkness and the yellow beams from lamp posts. This may seem boring for someone who has spent his working life in a dynamic fast-paced city of Singapore, but the pine trees, forest, lakes and hills make up for it.
I was in the dining area, intently editing photos in my laptop when my brother-in-law pulled up the blinds and raptured, “Look bro, it’s snowing!”. It wasn’t the usual expression I’d hear inside the house since a good snowfall barely visits this city of Canada.
The window panes became edges of a cinema screen. I felt like I was part of the movie. The white Christmas, as it is often called, came in early. For a minute, I believed Santa was real.
It was difficult to contain my excitement. With only flip flops under my naked feet, I immediately ran to the back porch. A turtleneck and a pair of sweatpants were all I had. The first snowflake touched my eyelids.
During the month of August, Chinese believe that the spirit of the dead roam around the earth. Thus, they celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival. A burning place is set up at each block in Singapore. People will burn paper money or incense. Sometimes you can’t differentiate it from smog season. When a strong wind blows, the ashes flutter. Gray flakes falling from the sky. This is the closest analogy I could think of snowflakes, except that they’re less discomforting and intrusive.
My mind was in a bullet train. Those scenes that I would normally see in movies were right in front of my eyes. Do you know that feeling when your brain goes haywire and it blocks all the other senses of your body? I had a moment of that.
For a while, I thought it was warmer than those days without snow. Ironic. I pushed a little bit more and ran shirtless outside the house. A friend of mine, who had been living in a snowy place in Europe, did attest that having snow doesn’t mean it will be colder.
Imagine eating an ice cream for the first time. You’re drooling. You wanted to get the biggest scoop. It was my first snowfall so I tried to do all the items in my snow checklist. These are:
- Create a snowman.
- Form a snowball and throw it to my friends. Unfortunately, there were no childish people around. I did have my snowball but hurled it to the wall instead.
- Lie on the snow and form the snow angel. I moved my arms up and down and my legs side to side ignoring the thoughts that I might look stupid or seemed so childish.
- Ran around shirtless. I was hoping the ab muscles would contract and will look better on camera.
- Walk on the snow barefoot. It wasn’t cold until I felt something pricking my sole–it was the snow melting.
- Taste the snowflake. It’s like tasting the rain, but icier.
There were a few myths I proved to be untrue as well:
- It is easy to build a snowman. No. I managed to only create a snowkid (or a snowfetus–a more apt description).
- Snow is always beautiful. When morning strikes and a warmer day sets in, snow can transform into block ice which makes the road or the pavement slippery. I almost slipped on the way to the office.
- Snow is white. It is. But once it starts to melt, you’ll regret wearing a pair of white shoes. In short, it’s muddy.
Two days after, the second (and probably the last snowfall of the year) happened. I felt so lucky this year.I will share my snow forest adventure in the next article. Keep posted. In the meantime, enjoy my photos and videos below.