Janet Leung - “World War S”

Janet Leung

Janet was born and raised in Hong Kong, currently studying her Politics degree at theUniversity of Otago. She loves reading and travelling and regularly writes in her personal blog at fyjanetleung.blogspot.com in Chinese and English.

S for shivers. S for snowflakes. S for scarves. While every single person is complaining about the humid hot weather in my hometown, I am striving so hard to survive through the chilly winter here. In childhood, when it’s summer time and mom doesn’t let you turn on the air conditioning, I bet everyone had tried sneakily opening the fridge door to let the whiff of cool air out so you won’t be scolded. But imagine living in a fridge, in reality is absolutely no fun; it is freezing my butt off.


This is my second winter in New Zealand. You may say I should expect the wintry weather and get prepared but it wasn’t that harsh and long last year. There were slippery grounds and icy plants but there wasn’t snow. I had my first snow experience this winter. The day before the heavy snow, one of my flatmates drove us all up the Cargill to look for some snowing fun. It was an amusing ride all the way though only hails and slithery roads. The next morning when I woke up, I wasn’t sure how the weather was like as my curtains were closed but it was too frozen for me to stretch my arm to open them. Yet I knew from my flatmates’ exciting voices that it was finally snowing outside. I wanted to get out of bed but leaving my cosy room and warm beddings was tougher than I thought. I laid in my bed wrapped like a cocoon, looking up the ceiling and I saw my breath, a thin fog was floating. I thought of the winter game I used to play with friends in the coldest days, who exhales the thickest and longest breath wins. And this game just gone so wrong in my room where I had no one to compete but the fog was so thick in such coldness. I don’t want this chill here! I struggled with my duvet and quilt and everything in my bed for more than an hour and finally made it to freshen up for school. I swore the struggle was still so strong and was a stiffer one. The tap water was freezing that it hurt my jaw. Every gulp of water I took to rinse my mouth was a challenge. My hands were cold as hell making my dress up progress slow. The only blessing thing is having an afternoon schedule this semester where the earliest lecture is at noon so there are hours for me to get ready for school. And because of the wet snowy road, it took me longer to walk to school with caution. Every night before I sleep I pray for the positive degrees for the next day. The struggle is real!


I don’t think the winter is completely over though it’s warmer now. I am kind of annoyed by the dynamic weather that whenever I feel like I can wear lighter outfits I turn out wearing my down jacket again. But I know spring is on its way when the bleak hazy sky is gradually replaced by the clear blue sky, and the tips of the mountains are no longer white. I just can’t wait for the energetic weather to arrive and being surrounded by blossoms again.