Last night, walking along Queensway, after a takeaway from Khan’s Restaurant, snow, big flakes of snow, cascaded from the darkened evening sky, transforming the area into a winter wonderland. This had been expected and I should have known better than to wear my long Cheongsam like dress to the MCA Chinese New Year do in Malaysia Hall, graced by our Minister of Information.
The cab taking us back skidded a few times and certain roads were already blanketed with snow. Cars drove past with icing tops, at slow speed taking heed of the warning by AA.
Children were already throwing snowballs and making snowmen by the roadside.
At home, the cats had already made themselves comfortable in front of the heaters and on carefully laid out duvets.
This morning, there was an air of excitement as we peered outside to see the neighbourhood under a blanket of snow, not seen before since God knows when. At 6 am, I received a text message about the closure of all campuses – so, no work today because of the snow. Children going to work and school checked transport online only to be informed that all bus services are suspended. Only three train lines are running. No minicab service whatsoever as the icy condition is dangerous for diriving.
So, everything stops when the snow drops.
I remember my first experience of snow in the winter of 1981. My sister and niece who were visiting were so excited that they took themselves to Kensington Gardens to take photographs. Coming back to the apartment, they got stuck in the lift and had to be rescued by five hefty men from the fire station.
While waiting for the arrival of the Minister yesterday, someone mentioned that it could have been a white Chinese New Year. It was really freezing the last few days. But of course, it never happened. During all of my 29 years here, I have never once seen a white Christmas, BUT a white hari raya, yes! It was the Hari raya of 1995, if I remember correctly. Malaysian students in their fine Hari Raya clothes, underneath heavy jackets and jumpers, queued up outside Malaysian restaurants offering free food, as heavy snowfall complete the picture of a Hari Raya experience abroad. It was such a wonderful sight, and the cold long wait outside was worth it for the piping hot soto and lodeh in places like Nahar cafeteria in Paddington.
It is certainly not a day to venture out. So, I am crawling back to the warmth and comfort of the duvet. May be later, just may be, we'll go out and throw snowballs at each other, and try to recapture those moments the way we used too. That is, if the old knees permit. We'll see.