I came to Japan on February 2010. Before leaving my country, my professor had warned me that I’d be coming at the coldest season and needed to bring warm clothes. We did wear warm apparels and still had some extra in our luggages. We arrived at Narita airport at 10 in the morning. It was cold. But not as cold as I had expected, so our warm clothes would do. However, the professor did not think that what we had was enough. After getting off the train (about 2 hours from Tokyo), dragging our luggages to the lab (yes, straight to the lab!), the professor sat us down in his office and handed a big paper bag. Inside were two winter coats, one or two size larger for me and just fit size for my husband. The coats were very thick and the length reached our calves. We thanked him and brought the coats to our new home, a room in a first floor of four stories student apartment. On our first night in our new place, the snow fell outside. Our very first snow! We got out and danced in the snow, forgetting our coats and shoes. That was very impulsive. Thank God we did not catch cold.
The next morning the snow had ceased falling, leaving the earth white and cold. We had to go the lab and thought that we might use the winter coat the professor gave us, to show our gratitude to his kindness and to keep ourselves warm. The odd thing was, along the way to the lab, there was not a single person dressed like we did. I did wonder a little but didn’t give much thought of it. If I think of it now, we must have looked like we lived in Alaska!