We were back in school today after a week off for the holidays, and it snowed and snowed and... wait for it... snowed, beginning sometime in the small hours. All the kids said they'd never seen this much snow in their lives. Back in Ithaca, we had a name for this kind of January day... we called it "Monday".
The forecast was for one to three inches, which would be a lot for here, but I think we had the three before I even left the apartment. They're not ready for this kind of thing; rock salt is rare and I haven't seen any plows. What happens here is that the main streets quickly become piles of brown slush and, a couple of days after it snows, the side streets become bumpy sheets of ice until the next snow comes to cover it up. With the gym closed for New Year's, I went running... well, skating... on the path down by the creek twice over the weekend, but just walking on my street is a bit more adventurous than usual. It should take a little longer this time to wear the snow down.
On the walk to work, I saw a single moving car out on the street. At our starting time, perhaps ten percent of our students were present. Rumor had it that one of our buses was stuck in a snowbank and the police had told the other to turn around and go home, but apparently the rumor had all the veracity of a Fox and Friends news segment; 90 minutes after our first bell, all the rest of the kids trooped in.
Just as the administration canceled the Jeju Island trip in the fall before anyone had H1N1, they've announced a snow day for tomorrow. I bet the roads will be okay by then, of course.
After school, I did a long treadmill run at the jamesnasium, followed by a hot shower (so, so good... the water's not getting above tepid at home). Then I slid home, measuring the snow on the way, by a highly scientific method: I found a discarded styrofoam tray, shoved it into the snow on the roof of a parked car, then compared the tray to a sheet of typing paper at the apartment.
It's about ten inches; I measured it myself. (I realize that this may not be the first time in your lives that some of you have heard that.)
Korean tv says it's their heaviest snowfall since they started keeping track in 1904.
As soon as I got home, I took these pictures in the park across the street:
A little later, I stomped my way over to Costco, and that was delightful; on Saturday, the checkout lines stretched literally two-thirds of the way to the back of the store, but this evening, you could have played Rollerball in there without disturbing anybody. On the way, I saw a lady shoveling her driveway with a dustpan, and a couple of guys using thick plastic boards. They're not really equipped for this.
As for me, I love it; there's that serene silence when there are hardly any vehicles moving and the snow muffles all sound. It's not really cold or windy, but it's white. It's lovely and I've missed it since I left Ithaca. I can't wait for 2116, when Seoul's due for another day like this.