“From throat and eyes, came winter and reasons —
I’m told to carry on.”
– Mookie’s Last Christmas, Saosin
Having spent a significant portion of my life growing up in countries situated near to the equator, the closest thing I have seen to snow is a hailstorm that happened in Perth, Western Australia back in March 2010, which killed some of UWA’s much-loved peacocks and completely destroyed Winthrop Hall’s beautiful stained glass windows — a damage estimated to have cost millions of Australian dollars for the university.
So naturally, I have never seen or touched snow in my twenty-two years of living. This meant that I have sorely missed out on some of the greatest pleasures in life such as ice-skating during Christmastime in the company of friends and loved ones. So you can imagine my excitement when on a recent visit to Zagreb and Budapest, the opportunity finally came to put on some ice-skating gear and make a fool of myself in the rink.
Unfortunately I never quite made it to the rink, even though it would’ve cost me no more than GBP 5, as opposed to an exorbitant GBP 16 in London. First of all, there simply was no time. When we had time, it was inconvenient; and when the timing was perfect, we were rushing to finish off our tourist pilgrimage of the city. Second, my mother strongly discouraged going ice-skating because we still had much traveling to do, and doing so with a sprained ankle or any other form of possible ice-skating-related injuries wasn’t really a good idea. I kind of had to agree. Besides, I think ice-skating is probably best done in the company of someone more experienced.
Still, I’m keeping ice-skating on my bucket list, as banal as it sounds. The beautiful thing about being in Europe around Christmastime is all this — the ice, the snow, the Christmas markets, the ice-skating, Winter Wonderland, roasted Turkey, the SALES, the gift of giving, the warmth from the wood burning in the fireplace, all of which are very novel to me. I don’t celebrate Christmas myself but I treasure nonetheless this festive atmosphere and I think it is a wonderful way to end the year on a joyful note.
Happy New Year err’body!