Fly Me Back to the Tropics

Tonight's weather

Tonight’s weather

I can’t sleep. It’s too cold. My heater is already on, but my window is too large while the weather outside is too cold, so my room temperature is generally still cold. This building is old, and the wall is not veneered. I can tell without any need to rip the wallpaper. The window is only one layer with window-to-wall ratio of 57% (yeah I did calculated it). And it’s only mid December, how should I survive the next two months? It will be getting colder…

Sleeping in cold condition reminds me of the horrible experience I had during high school. I was in the mountaineering club and it was the initiation event. It lasted three days only, but for me it was one of the longest three days of my life. It took place in one of Mt.Salak’s surrounded mountains called Mt. Perbhakti. It wasn’t a commercial hiking track so half of the way up we had to open the trail with the help of navigation skill and machetes. It was only a two days one night hike, but it was much much more tiring than the same hiking time on an open mountain. I had hiked both types, so I know the difference. Anyway, I wasn’t fit when I was off from home..with fever already, so the supervisory teacher appointed a male senior to watch over me. I did passed out before reaching the base during the hike, but that experience was nothing horrifying in comparison with what happened after the hike. We were soaked when we reached the basecamp again that evening because on the way down the mountain we passed through two rivers if my mind doesn’t trick me. My fault was I refused to change into another shirt before sleeping as the teacher commanded me because I thought it was just gonna be a few hours sleep before the seniors wake us up again by 12 am. I remember shivering so bad not long after I lied down in the tent. I heard my friends’s voices calling out my name, shaking my body, slapping my face and then more voices…my seniors most likely and then the teachers..but I couldn’t do anything at all. I froze. I couldn’t move anything, not even my eyes. I just felt the cold all over my body and nothing else. I didn’t really remember how they changed my clothes for there were so many voices on both of my ears, with a mix of cries for my name and prayers. Slowly the slightest warm took over the numbness from my whole body. I remember hearing a discussion among my furious supervisory teacher and my seniors about whether or not I should be run to the nearest physician..not even a doctor, let alone hospital since our location was in the middle of the mountains and bushes. The conclusion was I stayed and the seniors took care of me. I think I remember asking for water as I got a lot warmer. And then blank memory. And then woke up and hearing screams. And then blank memory again. Thankfully, I woke up in the morning.

I survived the hypothermia when I was 16 and promised myself never ever to experience such incident again.

The supervisory teacher resigned from his position as our supervisor as soon as we were back to school life. Though he remained as our killer-math teacher (and he does still teaches in our high school until now). When I made a visit to his house, his wife kind of already knew me before meeting me. That teacher was traumatized by my incident and I believe he carries it for the rest of his life, as I do, too. He once shared this story to the whole class (my class) and mentioned me as a liar (for lying to him that I didn’t  change my shirt that night) and my batch mates as super super liars (for they made such a report -the lie- to him about my shirt). He hated us somehow. I haven’t met him again since graduation.That teacher has now known as the father of a rising star, the young singer with headscarf who won a TV singing competition.

My parents have no idea about this story at all up until now and I’m not planning to tell them anytime soon. Even ever maybe.

Korean winter is fierce. Having days with 0C temperature is already a luxury during winter. Last year it reached -16C in the middle of the day and -20C at night. I hope this winter is milder. I hope I can get through it save and sound.

I miss the strong sunshine of the Tropics…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s