analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

23 February 2001 Friday



It's always a lovely surprise to wake up to fresh snow on the ground. Yesterday, I witnessed a day mixed with sunshine, wind, drizzle, cloud - everything you'd expect an English weather forecast to contain.

However, this is not England, but the southeast part of Germany - a few hours from the Czech Republic - in the quaint Bavarian town of Amberg, which stands for "at the mountain."

Not having grown up with snow, I've come to appreciate every occasion it appears. Like some kind of idealistic purity, the white snow at first reminds me of a clean and clear conscience, a return to innocence. Throughout the day, as in any city, the snow turns grey and starts to melt.

As I listen to my friend's stories of injustice in Africa, I try to rationalise why conscience would be defined differently there. The same kind of unfair practice happens in companies and offices elsewhere. Do you protest and risk your job and future? Or do you grin and bear it, and risk becoming a zombie? The walking dead becomes alive only after work and out of the office.

The white snow is rapidly disappearing now as the day warms up. We leave our original inclinations behind as we merge to belong in our new environment. Either we melt into the melting pot called humankind or we turn grey.