First Glimpse of Snow: Touchdown Hokkaido

I looked outside. Everything, except for the runway, is covered in snow. I just woke up from an hour and a half flight and the first thing I did was to get my phone and took a photo of the view from the aircraft’s window. It was a pretty sight. And even though I’m still a bit dazed, I could tell that the weather is kinda sunny.

Or, I could be wrong.

My phone says it’s – 9c out there.
And it’s only 9:30 AM.

I have zero experience or knowledge when it comes to snow, so while waiting for our turn to disembark the plane and also while watching the behind the scenes of ANA’s in-flight safety video, all I have in mind are the questions: How come snow doesn’t melt under the sun? And is it really possible to feel too cold when it’s actually supposed to be warm because of the sun? Well, Science isn’t really my favorite subject so I don’t want to give myself a headache trying to understand this thing. All I know is that it’s quite interesting and magical to see that such phenomenon exists.

I stepped out the plane, following my husband. It was a long walk before we could claim our luggages, and we all know that walking isn’t my thing. But I didn’t mind. I was too busy admiring the yellow green lounge chairs facing the windows and the nicely put monochrome shades of brown carpet on the floor. I remember, I once tried designing an airport. It was actually a major requirement for our Design class in Architecture school, but now I can barely remember what my design looked like. I haven’t been to a lot of airports back then, and since one of the principles of good architecture is form following function, I think I got quite lost in figuring out the right function so my form kinda suffered too. But it’s all good. I still passed the class.

As we made our way down to the lower floor, we kept reminding ourselves of the escalator etiquette in Japan: and that is to stand on the left side instead of on the right. It took me quite a while for that to sink in because it’s the total opposite of what I’m used to. My thoughts as of the moment? Well, the excitement of actually being in Hokkaido isn’t there yet. I guess my brain is still too busy observing everything that’s happening inside the Arrivals of New Chitose Airport.

A lot of people are already waiting for their luggages. I decided to just stand in one corner, while waiting for our bags, and at this point, I cannot identify who are the Chinese from the Japanese, or even Korean because no offense, they all kinda look the same to me. There are a number of Americans too, most of them are families, with little kids running around looking so cute in their winter gears. As far as I can tell, we are the only Filipinos in the room. Some have already claimed their luggages and many have their ski and snow boards with them, and are now starting to change into thicker jackets. One woman opened her luggage right in the middle of the floor, pulled out a white down jacket with a faux fur hoodie to replace the already thick jacket she was wearing. As I was watching her do all these, I can’t help but to wonder, how cold is it really outside?

Looks like I’m about to find out.

With our luggages ready and complete, we stepped outside the airport and walked straight to the taxi bay. We didn’t want to risk getting lost again and find ourselves pulling our luggages on the streets covered with snow. So we hailed 2 taxis, because there’s five of us, and asked the drivers to take us to Hotel Sunroute New Sapporo. I didn’t get to have a good feel yet of the temperature outside because we went straight inside the vehicle, but I’m hoping that my heattechs will be my best friends starting today.

Seeing the snow for the first time should at least make me feel a bit excited, because I lived in a tropical country all my life, but unfortunately, that is not the case. I thought I’ll be super giddy when I get to have even just a glimpse of it, but here I am, admiring the all white everything from the windows of this taxi, and yet I am still so calm. What is wrong with me? I’m actually trying to identify what I feel at the moment, even though it’s hard, because I am making a new year’s resolution to be more sensitive with my emotions. I guess it’s a good thing to just check what I feel, and why I feel that way from time to time.

I’m not sad, but I’m not happy either. I think the perfect word would be, I feel at peace. I may be in a totally different place, but I’m still the same. I still feel anxious, and hurt, and worthless. But this peace is good. I mean, I may be feeling all these things, but at least I don’t get to dwell so much on the negativity of it. This peace keeps me afloat, and I hope it stays.

It’s already 10:51 AM. I took out my shades and put it on. I was right, it is indeed a sunny morning here in Hokkaido.


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