I've never seen so

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I've never seen so much snow in Tokyo.

"We're going to have a big snowfall tonight," my friend Kristen mentioned on Friday at lunch. How intriguing. It rarely snows here.

She was right. It began snowing late on Friday night and continued all of Saturday. By Saturday evening, five inches blanketed the ground.

Public services suffered. Japan's postal service doesn't deliver "in rain, sleet or even snow." The garbage collectors didn't even attempt to make their rounds. Fortunately, the subways were still running, though there were delays on trains at ground level.

Tokyo doesn't seem to have any snowplows, but trucks and buses have wheel chains for traction. The streets quickly turned to cold, grey slush. Sidewalks didn't fare much better. Not many people have snowshovels.

But they do have umbrellas which they carry to ward off falling snow. Unlike a tightrope walker's parasol, an umbrella in a snowstorm doesn't do much for balance. Umbrellas may be useful in a light snow, but they are dangerous when everyone is slipping around.

I'm not even going to mention people driving up the hill past our house.

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