This weekend I went skiing in Nagano with a mixture of English-speaking expats and native Japanese. My chauffeur was a British/French/Indian English-teacher, known throughout the prefecture as the scariest driver ever. We averaged about 100 miles/hour on the expressway and arrived at the hotel in half the time it took everyone else. After those speeds, skiing for the first time since elementary school didn’t seem so scary. Over three feet of snow fell in the two days we were there, which made for great skiing and a lot of fun when it came time to find and unbury the cars for the trip home.
Upon returning to my apartment late Sunday night, I discovered that not only were my pipes frozen, but the water in the toilet bowl was solid ice. A word to the wise: if the water in your toilet is frozen, flushing is not an effective way to solve the problem. I now know this from experience. Luckily there’s a drain in the floor, otherwise I’m sure I would have been able to ice skate in my bathroom by the following morning.