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My maiden dance in the Irish snow

Photo by Sylvano Mbatu for

The month of March has always been one of the best times in my life since it is my birth month, a time when I take stock on the hits and misses in my life as I celebrate a new year. This year however things have turned out different. The first day of March will stick forever in my mind. A normal occurrence to many who have lived in parts of Europe and America, turned different for me. Upon opening the windows of my room that morning, everything outside was covered in snow, the cars, the roofs, the walkways, etc.

Photo by Sylvano Mbatu for

So this is how winter looks like. This was my first thought. Coming from Africa where the average room temperature is 24 degrees, experiencing snowy weather is strange to say the least. First thing that came to my mind was, I had a class at 11am, how am I going to get myself to South Circular road, Dublin 8 from Dublin 15.

Video Courtesy of Irish Mirror

Lucky enough my housemate Angelo Simoes, a fellow international student of Portuguese origin came to my rescue. He gave me tips that saved my day.

‘Sylvano, before you leave the house, you need to have your winter boots on’, retorted Angelo. I was like, this is it. Clearly this is not like any other day. ‘I see’, I responded. ‘What else do I need to keep in mind now that I am preparing to go to class?’, I asked. ‘Well, the normal things. Having several layers of clothes, gloves, bin, umbrella, winter boots and you will be good to go’.

With that in mind, I quickly prepared myself and left the house. At first I didn’t know it was going to feel walking on the snow. But I quickly noticed that it felt like walking on soft gravel that crumble after every step. Such a nice feeling huh? I told myself. Not bad for a start.

I slowly made my way to the bus stop, which is usually a five minutes’ walk from the house, however this day it felt like farther than that. Within two minutes I was on the thirty-eight on my way to the city center. The ride was rather slow compared to other days. Because of the snowy conditions on the road, the driver has to be careful lest we find ourselves in a ditch, I was told by my fellow passenger who was seated next to me.

Got to the city center and it was time to change buses, from 38 to 122. Standing at Parnell Square under that awful condition was tough. Lucky enough I was warmly dressed and the umbrella came in handy in protecting me from the rain. I was lucky that the second bus arrived after seven minutes, we boarded and in about fifteen minutes I was in college.

The walk to class was not different either. I would feel snow falling on my umbrella as I walked under the trees. Lucky enough I was in class within four minutes. The classroom heater thereafter did the magic because saying that I was okay in the cold would be telling a white lie.

After class I shared experience with my family members back at home and everyone was happy for me. I also took photos to keep as memories of my first encounter with an Irish snowy winter, which I was informed comes after every six years, the last being in 2018.

”No matter how bad the outside looks like, go ahead and enjoy this new experience”.

Angelo Simoes.
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