New York, This Time Last Year
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This Time Last Year: Snowflakes In My Nostrils

Stupid title, whatever.

Things People From The Tropics Might Want To Know About Winter

  1. Dressing up is a ceremony of layers that takes forever. Undies, the first thermal, the top, the vest, the michelin man jacket, a scarf, and gloves. Don’t forget the bottoms! A layer of thermals, pants (after which you’ll feel like a sausage), socks, and boots.
  2. When it’s about 18F or lower, whatever is in your nose will freeze and unfreeze immediately outside. It’ll feel like you’ve got flakes in your nostrils.
  3. People still walk their dogs. Dogs are dressed up with booties (or else salt cuts their paws). The full winter regalia would include a sweater, hat… stroller, and human accessory.
  4. Walk slow. Those pretty Frye boots (with smooth bottoms) are a death wish when walking on hard ice. You’re better off wearing yaktracks on your normal shoes, wearing Docs (my preference, or walking around in golf shoes (hi dad!).
  5. This will seem like one of the best ideas. Ever.
  6. You will gain weight because your body will naturally want to blubber up. That’s my excuse, anyway.
  7. Your frozen face might bring about the passing thought of warmth by kissing. HEE HEE.
  8. You will want to hibernate like a polar bear the entire day, getting up only for ramen.
  9. Beware the yellow snow.
  10. Death by ice or by fire? I used to say ice, because the idea of melting is enough to give me diarrhea. However, a friend told me that if there’s smoke, you’ll pass out from the fumes and wake up in the afterlife. But when you die by freezing, you feel every second of it until you’re a human popsicle.

Maybe it’s a good time to watch Cool Running one of these days. This time last year, I was still living in Manila, but had the good fortune to snowboard with my friends in Beijing and explore the smog-engulfed city at the pinnacle of its air pollution. Looking back, I’m extremely glad it happened, because I was able to get to know some of my dearest friends more deeply while gorging on roasted lamb, fried scorpions, and KFC China’s egg tarts. It’ll be some time before this kind of thing happens again. By then, there’ll at least be one couple married. By then, I will have sexy abs and the ability to carve decently down a slope.

Last week, we got hit by a snowstorm named Janus. It snowed nearly the whole day. My office view is typically like this mid-afternoon…

On the day of Janus, it looked like this…

By the time I left the office, it was still snowing fast, fluffy, and heavy. What a sight to behold. Then I started feeling the freeze.

Of course, I still expose my hand to the biting air, for photos.

Thankfully, that’s not my front door.

This is what Central Park looks like in winter, frozen lakes and all. Did you know that turtles hibernate under the frozen water? They don’t surface for air, but breathe through their skin. Some baby turtles even freeze for a short time, then go back to being alive when they thaw.


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