First sighting


A good majority of the class was engrossed in the presentation of the previous batch which shared their internship experiences when I heard some murmurs on the other side of the room. Probably from the sometimes frustrated and mostly fulfilled narratives of the students. One was a Brazilian lawyer who worked for an obscure NGO in India. There was also a Norwegian who started school a couple of years ago, enjoyed her internship, and decided to stop university to continue working for the organization and who has finally returned. An American who worked at the World Health Organization office in the fifth most expensive city in the world found in Africa.

I heard some hushed tones which did not belong to the discussion: snow. I turned my head to the left on the general direction of the window, and there it was, white flecks almost in the guise of rain trying to defy gravity. In an attempt to confirm what I was seeing, I dumbly asked, “what is it?” Definitely not cats and dogs. “T’snow” said Jana, one classmate. I faked some motion to rush out of the room, but told myself I should wait for the presentation to end or at least pause for a break. Come recess time, the snow was gone and all that was left is the overcast clouds looming above, as if teasing me for my lack of interest earlier in the nature’s show. After the session ended, I was still hoping for another show, but the curtains have been drawn.

I passed by the grocery to buy some pasta and tomato sauce for Bolognese tomorrow lunch. As I stepped out of the store, I saw something approaching towards me from the air, and almost ducked intuitively to avoid what was coming. But it melted as soon as it touched my blank face, and landed on the ground. I continued walking, and then nothing more came other than some spat of water.

As I settled down in my room, someone shouted “Es Schnee!” The short proclamation registered in my head despite my limited German knowledge, and somehow got the message. I opened my window and there they are, this time in little clumps . The much awaited freak of nature of a tropical country boy. This time I didn’t let it pass. I pulled on my jacket, slipped on my shoes and grabbed my wallet, thinking of celebrating this occasion at a nearby café. I met some German students on their way out to the open quadrangle of the dorm, and just decided to hang out with them. Yes, they also went out to see the first bits of snow to hit the town, perhaps not with the same hidden bewilderment that I have, but with as much delight just the same.

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