I Think I'm Turning Japanese
It is officially cold in Kobe! I knew it was cold, but when you wake up and see frost on the bushes, it is officially officially cold. And when you are walking to work and realize that the ground is covered in snow despite the sun being out and not a cloud in the sky, you realize it's a special kind of cold. I'd like to call it ninja cold. Why? Because you're just hanging out in your warm heated apartment (as I am apt to do), and you look outside and see the sun is shining, and you hear birds chirping, and you think, "Wow, what a lovely winter morning!" When it looks that beautiful outside when I'm in Oakland, you can bet that even in the middle of winter it means that it actually FEELS beautiful. As in, maybe I can go out in a t-shirt today type of beautiful. But here in Kobe, you go outside and the ninja cold performs a sneak attack on you.

Yesterday the weather appeared as I described above: sunny, clear, bright, cheery, inviting. I thought I'd briefly test the weather by running out to my mailbox, about 20 yards away, in just my pajama pants and a long sleeved shirt. As Vivianne Ward would say: "Big mistake. Big. Huge!" Almost immediately the ninja cold snuck up and took hold of any exposed skin and beat the living crap out of it with its tiny ninja cold fists. In the 20 seconds it took to run to my mailbox, grab my mail, and run back to the warm welcoming arms of my apartment's heater, the ninja cold gouged me with its ninja cold throwing stars. My cheeks were a deep shade of pink and I could stop shivering and trying futiley to rub out the goosebumps. Call me a wuss, but I am just not properly trained to fight off the ninja cold. 

From now on, you will see me fully decked out in Japanwear. This means a fur-lined hooded down jacket, furry ear muffs, a thick scarf, wool tights worn under pants, and boots. I never even bundle up this much when I'm in Tahoe! Ridiculous. But it's the best I can do to combat the ninja cold that can sneak up on you at any moment.
Ninja cold is watching you.

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