As a child of the tropical Caribbean island of Jamaica, snow was such a fascination for me that I couldn’t wait to experience this wonderful phenomenon.
Now I am taking a break from China to visit my sister in Japan for the Winter Holidays and it has snowed about 3 times since I’ve been here. It’s beautiful, exotic and fun to play with but it also comes with a whole lot of baggage.
Snow = Winter
Winter = Really Cold
Really Cold = 6 major problems myself and those around me have encountered since Winter began:
1.It’s Cold and Humans are Warm-Blooded Animals
This means that exposing our bodies to the cold air does not feel comfortable and will probably make us sick. So to avoid Hypothermia, Flu, Pneumonia or feeling cold, we have to wear
– heavy coats**
– ear muffs*
– leg warmers*
– hand warmers*
– shin warmers (I don’t own any. I’ve only seen people wearing these. They look like giant leather football shin guards with fur.)
– 5 layers of shirts under the coat**
– sometimes a jacket over those 5 layers but under the coat (I’ve done this once)
– 2 pairs of tights under the jeans**
– oh and at least one scarf**
– sometimes boots, but mostly sneakers
* = Things I wear sometimes ** = Things I wear all the time
2. Lowered Productivity/Gets Dark Too Early
When it’s so cold, I usually tend to feel really sluggish, so I get a lot less done than I normally would. It also gets dark really early (around 4 or 5), so my brain shuts off at around 4 or 5 and I start thinking bedtime.
3. Weight Gain
For some reason, when it’s cold I feel hungry all the time, sometimes right after eating. This happened sometimes too in Jamaica, but not all the time. Plus it didn’t happen in the Autumn when I just went to China. Added to that, I am in bed all the time. It might not be noticeable now under all the Winter layers, but one day, the layers have to come off.
4. Endless Tiredness/Gets Dark Too Early
*Japan is usually 1°C to 10°C ; Beijing is usually -9° to 4°C
5. Don’t Want to Go Anywhere
It’s cold, I want to sleep, and I have to put on a million layers of clothes before I step out the door…that sounds like a lot of effort. It would be much easier to and more gratifying to stay in bed.
6. Dry Skin
This is one thing I did not realize would be a problem. In Jamaica my skin and hair usually gets oily really fast. I figured if my skin is oily in hot weather, it would be normal in the cold. Actually, my hair and skin, notably the skin on my legs have gotten really dry. Ordinary lotion alone is not enough, even the most hydrating of lotions is not enough. It needs to be mixed with things to really prevent skin drying out, and it has to be done everyday.
Below is a video I took from the train station in Kyoto. You can see what I am talking about, and the hypnotic, sleep inducing effect Winter, especially snow has on you.