Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Weather Update

This is Bob with your Copenhagen weather update. Today it is expected to get to -11 ºC (12 ºF), and with snowy winds up to 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph) directly in your face.

Last night I got stranded at the bus stop, and walked the 2 miles to the S-tog (train to Copenhagen) with icy wind at 45 kph removing my epidermis. In the mirror this morning I saw that I now look my age. Things are falling, but in slo mo like on the moon.

It seems that I am the only one who stays at the office until after 4:30 PM, or sunset, because when I exit from my warm office the entire building is silent and dark, except for the winds outside laughing at my predicament. I have to turn on the lights in the hall to find my way out, and click a special "after hours" button to open the main doors. And there I am waiting alone for a bus that never shows, with my back turned as a shield to the icy wind, which then freezes my computer bag. So sleepy... maybe I will just lay in this soft 4 foot drift...

I made it to work this morning, but not without trouble. On the train the conductor said something that made people appear inconvenienced. I asked a man, "What did he say?" Then four people were speaking to me in English telling me what was said, asking me where I am going, saying to follow them — everyone speaking at the same time because they are just so nice and helpful here. When I got to work I asked a colleauge, "What does it take for a snow day?" She said, "Snow day? Oh, like when the school shuts down because of the weather? That never happens; we just start late."

Everyone tells me that this is the coldest winter Copenhagen has experienced in 23 years. I once replied, "Great, so I've got nothing but warm sunshine for the rest of my contract." Then I was reminded that in Denmark the opposite of extremely cold winter is gray and windy with horizontal sheets of rain.

My office mate rides his bike to work and home every day. What about the wind and ice and rain? "Yeah, I've got good clothes," he says. He is a Viking. I hope to become a Viking too.

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