Tuesday, November 20, 2007

first snow and a slow start

Randomata: In Japanese, adjectives conjugate!! Or inflect, or whatever it's called when they have different endings for tense and positive/negative. At least, a certain category of adjectives inflect. There are two overall categories, 'i' adjectives and 'na' adjectives. 'i' adjectives are made negative by dropping the final 'i' and adding kunai; 'na' adjectives are made negative by changing the copula (ie 'desu') to its negative, 'dewa arimasen/ja nai'. After 'na' adjectives and before a noun you insert 'na,' but not when the adjective is immediatly before a copula like 'desu'. Right. It's all coming together. ('uso' is Japanese for 'lie').

As the temperature dropped to about -5 last night, I gave up trying to make my heaters turn on and crawled into my futon around 12:30. There was a slight frost outside, perhaps the hint of snow already fallen.
After snoozing two alarm clocks on asyncopated 5 and 7 minute snooze cycles for an hour, I woke up with a muted gasp and slowly jumped out of futon. I dozily ran around, tossing my lunch and misc into my bag, scarfed down two toast 'n jams, yanked pants and shirt up and down respectively and ran out the door.
Of course, it was like a blizzard outside with a couple inches of snow covering every surface and more gusting down in the still -5 winds (or so they felt to my exposed face). I realised, with this first strong hint of the winter to come, that I was unprepared.
I quickly donned another sweater, toque and gloves and a rainjacket. The road was slippery but there was hope if I hurried; I could still make it to work on time!
At Odori station where I change trains, the platform was already full, with a constant stream of commuters continuing to cram in. Two subs going the wrong way came and went. The lines going my way grew. As a third wrongway train pulled to a stop, finally one came my way. There was subdued mayhem as hundreds of people from both trains let out onto the already crammed platform, everybody milling around pathetically like the people in those ridiculous jumpsuits on that overpopulated planet in that episode of Star Trek whose name eludes me.
As the train depleted, people hurriedly waddled into the empty car. The mob pressed people further and further into the car, until their faces squished up against the glass opposite. I was driven toward the doors from behind, but I basically had to move my nose out of the way of the closing doors as the train departed without the rest of us.
The next train was equally packed - except (of course) the courtesy seats, which remained empty despite the people threatening to fall into them because of the press, but refusing to because of the taboo.

Unsurprisingly I missed my bus, and the next wasn't for another half hour. I was fairly excited about the snow, so I didn't mind walking the 15 or 20 to my school.
I stepped outside into hellcold wind and rain blowing down from the sky and slurpeecold slush splashing up from the street. Ice and slush made every step slower, so the pleasant jaunt was extended to a half hour of fearing death, though laughing at myself the whole time. The cars driving by sent a steady spew of slush up onto the sidewalk, sufficiently soaking any parts of my lower half that might have otherwise stayed dry.
So I was a little late getting to work, and I was too wet to actually go upstairs to the office. No problem. I changed into my gym shorts and proceeded to try and dry my pants with a hairdryer. After ten minutes, I'm sure several molecules of water evaporated, but the effect was less than miraculous.
After jogging to the office half-dressed and soaking wet, I enlisted the aid of friendly coworkers. I borrowed some clothing, tossed my stuff in a random clothes drier, and sipped some ocha to warm up.
By the time next period started, I was dressed and ready for class, mostly dry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"slowly jumped out of futon"
hahaha ohhh alex. thats a great story. im catching up on all your entries. its kind of like waiting til a tv show is done its series and then watching them all back to back. no suspense for the next chapter, im caught up to date instantly!