Every year winter puts me in an introspective mode. The new year, my birthday in early Feb, the gloomy atmosphere – I find myself pondering over many things. In between all of this, when the fresh snow falls and turns the whole city into a wonderland, I realize that I actually don’t dislike winter at all.
Just a few days ago, we had a night of heavy snowfall which when I saw in the next morning reminded me of my Finland days. I remember the feeling of being in a magical land on the first morning of heavy snow (first of that year) that had fallen the night before, when I walked to school.
After all these years of living in Europe, I still am so excited when I see a thick layer of fresh snow envelope the surroundings. Back then, there were so many things I didn’t know about living in a cold, snowy place. I had improper boots and jackets, no knowledge about layers, and I didn’t check the weather forecast religiously.
Now I have become accustomed to adjusting the clothing and expectations according to the weather. My friends over here are surprised to find that I find snow so fascinating – they think that we get snowfall everywhere in Nepal. It’s actually not true despite the ubiquity of tall mountains in the country. The permanent snowline in Nepal is surprisingly high – above 5000 meters, and below that altitude, we only get occasional snowfall. Not any in my hometown Kathmandu which is at an altitude of 1400 meters.
With the growing popularity of domestic travel, youths flock to the snowy hills in Nepal from the cities to play with the snow. My sister recently made an arduous hike of 26 kms up and down a muddy dirt track in the closest snowy hill from Kathmandu. The snow wasn’t fresh, so all she got to see was old, icy, ugly snow, but it was her first time and she said she actually liked the snow (or what it had turned into that point..). While people go to such lengths to just see snow in some places, here it’s just another winter day..
//Have you been enjoying your winter (or summer)?