My First Encounter with Snow

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snow in Finland
I couldn't imagine anything whiter

I had never seen snow until along with my family, I arrived in Selfoss in Finland few years back. Before boarding the flight in India, it was a perfectly “normal” day in terms of weather. I never imagined that in a few hours, we would see something completely different from what I had seen in my entire life.

Just after we were greeted with a hearty ”Welcome to Finland” by a man who wore a forced smile on his face, we stepped out to hail a taxi and then we got the shock of our lives; the roads were frozen and I couldn’t imagine anything whiter. The phrase “as white as snow” came to my mind and I guessed that it must have originated from Finland. The journey to our temporary abode brought me closer to the real meaning of winter in Finland. Trees and houses were covered in snow and the roads were barely motorable. I saw heavily dressed people from the window. Each had a very grave look on the face and marched with all seriousness, as fast as their legs could carry. My first distant encounter left a strong impression on my mind. I imagined that these serious-looking people who I saw through the frozen car window may never want to speak with anyone who isn’t one of them. I expected them to snub us when we asked for directions to the guest house.

 


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As we walked into the house, I thought about the conflicting perception of the people in our new environment. Perhaps Finns are friendly and we’ll have a good time in the country as one of the immigration officers wished us. “Enjoy your stay in Finland!” I still remember my first impression of Finns, yet, the friendly and open-minded people I came across in the four years we spent in that country, make me want to erase that image completely from my memory.

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Digant Saha is a student of  Word Munchers, a Kolkata-based creative writing platform.

 

Image courtesy: Needpix

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