Friday, October 15, 2010
The First Frost
I've lived in Stockholm, Sweden for a little over a year now. Having survived one long and brutal winter, I'd like to think that I can handle anything the Nordic weather gods throw my way. Still, the prospect of facing the first night of "minusgrader" (temperatures which fall below 32F/0C) in mid-October is a bit depressing. It's as if my mind views the previous winter as some sort of ultimate challenge, like climbing Mt. Everest or trekking to the South Pole. It's nice to be able to say I've done it once, but who in their right mind would choose to do this AGAIN? As quickly as the thought enters my mind, the answer comes: Me. That's who would choose to do this again. (Whether I'm in my right mind in so doing remains a subject of debate, I guess.) Stockholmers complain about the weather all the time, but they accept it as part of the the deal: endure long, dark winters in exchange for clean air, a comfortable life where most people work to live rather than live to work, and six weeks of vacation every year. Oh, and publicly funded healthcare and education. It's at this moment in my thought process that I realize, I'm becoming one of them. I've accepted the deal.