Friday, January 8, 2010

Cold enough?

It’s around -4°C in Brussels and there’s about 1 inch of snow in the parks. Although it’s a lot colder in a lot of places, these weather conditions are doing strange things to our city and its inhabitants.
People are:
1. Wearing snow boots. Yes, the huge ones in all kinds of wrong colours. The inch of snow apparently makes people think they’re on the slopes.
2. Refusing to wear a coat. “I’m 16, I wear a body warmer and a scarf, and the more I cough, the cooler it is.”
3. Walking on the street instead of on the sidewalks. Simply ‘cause the sidewalks are icy and the street is not.
4. Walking on the icy sidewalks with high heels, and swearing with every slippery step they take.
5. Crawling into their car through the trunk ‘cause the doors are frozen (I’ve seen that twice!)
6. Still sleeping with the bedroom window open (yep, that’s us)
7. Taking a hot water-bottle to bed (yep, that’s me)
8. Coming late into the office / classroom every morning: tramlines fail, trains are endlessly delayed, and traffic is impossible.
9. Not taking their coats off once they’re in the office / classroom – I feel like I’ve been teaching Eskimo’s with headscarves this week.
10. Complaining – but I can’t think of one weather-type Belgians don’t complain about.

Personally, I’m quite enjoying it. Every morning, I put on my thermal underwear, followed by 4 more layers of clothing – yes, I look fat. I get about 10 static-electricity shocks per day, and I have a Marge Simpsons-hairdo when I take of my hat. I’m the only fool in our street who bought 5 kilo’s of kitchen salt (and stood sweeping snow and melted ice for more than 30 minutes) to clear the sidewalk. I try to convince my students that it’s warm enough in the classroom, while I drink gallons of hot tea. And I keep telling P to stop complaining about the weather. But when I walk to school in the mornings around 8.00 AM, when it’s still pitch dark outside, and my nose is freezing off, I’m thinking of Buenos Aires too...

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