Snow, sure I’ve seen it before… From where I’m from I see a little fall here and there occasionally around Thanksgiving or around Christmas. Some people even wonder each year whether or not it’ll be a white Christmas or not… and… if it is… well for us that’s a big deal.
The thing is, no matter how much snow falls a year in Oregon or Washington, if it snows at all everyone gets excited. Schools might close at the very mention of snow forecasted the night before. Roads might close at the accumulation of an inch and almost always (even if it’s 5 or so centimeters) buses go on “snow routes.”
Now moving to Shimokita, I was told it snows here. I would ask people periodically just ‘how much’ it did snow and the answer was nearly always “ahh not too much.” To someone like me, “not much” means like well… “not much.” The nuance here is that if I were to ask the same people about Washington and Oregon’s snow fall… the answer might be more like “snow?! Where? What snow… it doesn’t snow at all here.” Since what we get each year is some absurd joke compared to here. Simply put… Aomorians are strong people to put up with, what I’ve seen as, a snow-monstrosity.
To give the merest example I present to you a small story about this morning at my place…:
This morning as I attempted to escape my humble abode I left the door with my satchel, a pair of dress pants, some dress shoes, my Scottish scarf, and a medium to heavy leather coat. As I opened the door I was greeted by two fearsome abominable snowmen. In fact, it was merely the snow pack that had crowded on either side of my front entrance. I took one giant leap into this frosty dreamland and watched as my foot slipped across the steps of an ice rink. “This is unfamiliar” I thought to myself. The actual trek to my car was closer then the trek from my door to my bathroom. However all I could see to my right as I cautiously slipped down each stair was a mound of snow in the shape of what might be my Suzuki Jimny.
Behind me I was startled as the giant roar of this beastly blue machine started up my path. In the driver seat of this bulldozer, that had sat quietly all season in the parking lot, was my landlord. A thin small man that always has the aura of a small business tycoon, he pulled up beside me and grunted with a half smoked cigarette hanging loosely between his chapped lips, “Ohayoo.” I watched as plowed tones of snow to the side which seemed to form the huge side walls of a snow palace. Perhaps this was his newest apartment venture.
Not walking, but stomping towards my car, I tried opening any orifice I could to get in. All doors were sealed by winter’s cold icy lips. The only door that opened eventually was my rear hatch… It cracked and screeched as it opened revealing a dark covered cave that was my “new car interior.” I laughed remembering the guy who sold it to me how nice it was that he was giving me the “tinted windows option” for free. My only option was to start it up and punch it till I could get out of the lot. It seemed barbaric, risky, but shoot somewhere in the sea of kanji on my insurance policy was probably this scenario… right?
So on my car went and in 4wd I put it… I revved a little, shifted in first, and said softly “to hell with it…”
The Jimny lurked forward and out of the rut it went. I proceeded as if it was routine getting out and scrapping the ice and snow off of only the important windows.
So as the car warmed up and I looked ahead at the obstacle coarse that was Mutsu’s roadways I thought silently to myself… “another day of living the dream life on JET…”