As I live in Southern China winter temps hover around freezing, but snow is rare. Our winters are more dreary, freezing cold, damp days then the clear, crisp days I’m accustomed to back in America. And right now my New Hampshire hometown has gotten pummeled with snow. More than 2 feet in the past couple of weeks, and I’m a little jealous.
But the other day here in China, after a rainy day, the rain suddenly changed to snow. At first I was unimpressed with the light dusting that we got. My students were posting pictures like this with captions that said “So much snow!”
My hardened New England heart scoffed at that, thinking how “cute” it was that they thought it was a lot of snow. But then, the snow kept falling, and falling and night turned into day, it showed no signs of stopping, and even I began to be impressed.
And the students were freaking out. All over chinese social media they are posting pics and saying things such as “So much snow!!” and “Wow, the snow is so deep!” and posting a million pictures. For some of them, this is the first time they’ve seen this much snow. They don’t have classes right now, but they have a few weeks in which they are preparing for their final exams. So they’re free to run around, make snowballs and have fun.
Of course I took many pictures myself, but I quickly discovered my students pictures were way more funny and interesting than mine. So here are some of my students pictures from the day!
There are also pictures of students who made tiny snowmen that fit in their hands. One snowman, built on the sidewalk, held a tiny sign that said “Good luck to everyone on their final exams!”
This is not my students pictures, but one that is floating around renren (the Chinese Facebook) and I thought it was quite hilarious.
The snow caused a lot of problems, canceling some schools for 2 days and creating road hazards. As for me, I had plans to go to Hangzhou to meet up with this great group of people I met on New Years. My friend and I arrived at the bus station, only to find that the local buses had stopped running due to the snow (by the way, the roads were totally clear, so it was just paranoia). The scheming taxi drivers had a field day, offering to drive the stranded travelers for 100 rmb per person (about $16). Usually the hour long taxi ride is 100 rmb per taxi. We managed to talk him down to 70 per person, but it was still robbery. (And it wasn’t a foreigner getting ripped off thing. Because we got a better deal we had to give the guy the money before we got in. And the 2 other chinese people with us both paid 100).
But that was not the end of the ordeal. After making it to Hangzhou, I quickly realized that getting home would be a problem. They have local taxis stationed in Hangzhou for the late night traveler wanting to return to my school, but it seemed like everyone was getting so nervous of the snow, they were going to cancel it. I was afraid I was going to have to find a KTV room and spend the night, but luckily one of my new friends has an extra bed I got to use.
So even though it caused some problems, and cost me a little bit of money, it was kind of exciting to have something different happen around here. It almost feels like I’m back home!