Monday, November 19, 2007

Sweaters and stuff

Ahh, the rain. The cold dampness descends with a vengeance on a warm body. November in Bulgaria. November in Europe.

When I studied in Luxembourg, I used to write short stories parodying university life there, barely changing the names of the students so everyone would know who they were in the stories. Each one usually began with "It was a cold, rainy day in Fluxembourg." I added an adjective with each new story until it read something like "It was a cold, dreary, depressing, soaking, rainy day in Fluxembourg." Today is such a day in Veliko Turnovo. So was yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that one, too. Makes it difficult to feel anything but lethargy.

This is the kind of day when you can walk five minutes outside but it takes twenty minutes inside to lose the chill. Of course, this makes you want to stay inside, which leads to the lethargy, which leads to a sort of restlessness, which sends you out to do something, which makes you cold again, which makes you want to stay's all a vicious, wintry cycle, and it's not all that pleasant, especially when you're looking at a calendar and you realize you only have about five weeks left and you are thinking about all of the stuff you need to cram into those five weeks even if it means walking outside in the cold, damp air across the puddles sitting atop the cobblestone streets. It's not as if you have a choice. You either stay inside and do nothing except waste your precious time away or you fight the lethargic comfort and go out anyway. After all, didn't you just walk 12 km to see a monastery in subfreezing temperatures? And didn't you just suffer the Marmara winds to visit Istanbul?

I seem to have deluded myself into thinking it will get warm again, as if I'm in denial that winter is really approaching. Some people go to Florida for winter - I go to a country that has more snow than Ohio. I blame Washington. I mean, I've been living in a city that has just been reclassified as a southern climate. (Thank you, global warming.) (That was sarcasm, mind you.) DC is far enough South, i.e. warm enough, that drivers slow to a grinding halt when a single snow flurry makes its decent from the winter's sky. Maybe I've simply forgotten what real winter is like.

I still haven't forgotten how to dress for winter - don't worry about that. (Grandma, I brought two pairs of longjohns.) I have my bright red Washington Nationals skull cap, a scarf, and a nice warm pair of fleece gloves. I have a warm Eddie Bauer fleece designed for the cold outdoors that is reversible, giving me an "extra" thing to wear, though I'm sure by now people have caught on that it's the same shirt! What a practical article of clothing. The fabric is such that it dries quickly, a necessity in all of this wetness.

And so I've blabbered on about the weather, something people talk about when there's nothing else to talk about. But I am stuck inside with nothing else to talk about. As one Bulgarian said today, "In winter in Bulgaria, we kill the pigs and drink wine because it's the only thing to do!"

1 comment:

  1. No snow in VT yet? We've gotten a few inches now in Sofia. I'm just so excited that the ski resorts will be opening soon. I can't wait to get up there!