Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Walking in my 50 kuai fugg (fake ugg) boots to class today was not very fun. Last night on QQ one of my students warned me that the roads are frozen and I might “slipped” so I should be careful getting to class in the morning. The weather forecast also said that we might get some snow, so when I woke up this morning and the windows were coated in a thick, frosty layer of ice, I decided that I should bundle up. I put on multiple layers of clothing, and decided to wear my recently purchased boots, worried that my feet would get cold. Oops– big mistake! My fuggs might be furry and warm, but they have absolutely zero traction.

About two minutes after leaving my apartment, I slipped and fell. Of course there were about five people watching me, including one man who walked over to help me, but in the process ended up slipping down the sloped sidewalk himself. It was like a comedy routine. Our friendly neighborhood garbage man was also right there. Usually he hangs out around our apartment and sweeps leaves or picks up trash. Today he was on snow removal duty, and as I slipped, he reminded me to be careful because the sidewalks were icy. Yes, indeed. I almost slipped about five or six more times on my way to class, but managed to make it unscathed. (I also saw the garbage man later this afternoon and we had a little chuckle together.)

Dalian doesn’t really seem equipped for snowfall. This afternoon while waiting for my bus home after my Chinese tutoring session, I watched several men jump out of a bus with shovels that you would use in a garden. They proceeded to shovel snow away from the bus lane and dump it in the lanes of traffic. It wasn’t really snow removal… more like snow dispersal. Cars honked but they carried on. After the snow had been transplanted from the bus lane to the car lanes, they sprinkled some salt on the road and then, presumably, moved on to the next bus stop.

While watching them shovel, I decided to hum some Christmas carols to keep my mind off of how cold I was feeling. This afternoon I decided to listen to some on my computer. It just seems so appropriate! Some of the “Western” restaurants and coffee shops have been decorating for Christmas but other than that, you wouldn’t really know that the holiday is two weeks away. I changed my Gchat status to “Winter Wonderland” and one of my friends here retorted, “Winter wonderland? It’s more like mushy dirtland!” And he’s right. Most of the snow has started to melt and it isn’t white anymore. I’m sure tomorrow will be another adventure getting to class…


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