Making Peace with The Cold

I have entitled this entry as such because it best sums up my two trips to Japan and Korea early this year. You see, I’ve never been good with the cold. I’m known as lamigin, a local term used to describe someone who easily feels cold. That’s me. I don’t like direct ventilation from an electric fan, more so, from an air conditioner. Trips to the movie house and even the mall sometimes require a cardigan. I easily freeze when visiting Baguio or Tagaytay during the “Ber” months.

The last time I was abroad in a cold country was way back in 2007.My family spent New Year’s in Hong Kong. I remember walking in the streets and getting numb all over. I enjoyed the trip but I didn’t enjoy the cold. It was just too cold.

Last March, I was set to travel to Japan and Korea for two consecutive weekends in a row. March, I was told, was still going to be very cold. Luckily I have a mother that prepares for the worst, and even better, she knits. She made me all sorts of cute hats and scarves to keep me warm. She also made sure I packed a lot of warmers..

When we got to Japan, it was just as I expected – chilly and windy. I got myself bundled up as soon as we hopped off the plane! It was about 8 degrees Celsius, VERY COLD by my standards. But hey, thanks to my mom’s scarves and hats, and all my layers, I survived the trip and enjoyed it very much.

Here I am with Mt. Fuji behind me, a rare occurrence, we were told. (The chances of seeing Mt. Fuji is said to be 3 out of 10. I consider myself very fortunate!)

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Here’s another picture of me and my family taking advantage of the beautiful cherry blossoms. They weren’t in full bloom yet but they were already so pretty.

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Now this was just part one of my encounter with the cold. The following weekend I was on a plane again feeling very apprehensive because my latest weather forecast check told me that it was even colder in Seoul. I had only packed the same kind of gear that kept me warm in Japan.

Fast forward to the first gush of wind when the airport doors opened.. negative 2 degrees Celsius! *I turned into a POPSICLE* And for the succeeding four days of my stay, the highest temperature we were granted was about 5 degrees. To my advantage, while I was in Japan, I learned the art of layering so I just kept adding and adding layers until I felt reasonably wrapped and protected.

To my surprise, by the third day in Korea, I was actually already getting comfortable with the weather.I never thought I would ever reach that point! Like all things that are foreign to us, it just takes time and patience (not one of my virtues, by the way!) because we have the ability to adapt . Day three was the day we went to Everland theme park. It was so cold that my eyes were watery after we rode the roller coaster but guess what, it was OKAY. 🙂

Here is a picture that proves I had adjusted – I wore a skirt! ..With leggings, of course.

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Japan and Korea were really beautiful. I’d like to go back. I will go back. And believe it or not, when that time comes, I’d like to go during the same season. I enjoyed both trips very much and I learned to make peace with the cold. Since I returned to my tropical home country, the Philippines, I’ve been subject to extreme heat and I’ve actually caught myself thinking about and missing the cold weather in Japan and Korea. (Who would have thought?!)

To close this first entry, here are more pictures from both trips.

The streets of Shinjuku, Tokyo

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Nami Island, Korea

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