Whenever I told people I was moving to Chicago, the first reaction was almost always about the killer cold. I shrugged it off, how much worse could it be than Berlin? ”No, you don’t understand - your face hurts and you want to cry.”
Last winter in Technotown was both rough and tough, with my shoes not touching sidewalk for three months thanks to serious ice. I’m stuggling to see how it could get worse, (I’m sure I’ll find out very quickly). Before my face goes under attack, I’m gonna enjoy the first flurries of snow, get my snowball game up to scratch, and get cozy with some great winter tracks.
An email from my main man, who recently became a Ph.D. student in Climate Policy:
This is the world I’ve entered…
“The snow Pool for 2010-2011 is on!
“It is that time of the year again. For those that forgot - we had 54.2” last year. This Fall, our precipitation has been closer to normal but after the very dry summer we are still behind in total precipitation. All this could play into your forecast - if you like - so let’s get at it!
“The 35th annual snow pool is now open for snow picks. Make your prediction of the total snowfall for the 2010-11 winter season. Enter soon before your pick is taken!
And this is the world you’ll thrive in amigo. It’s a game of inches. Make us proud Snowflake.
He said, hold on it’s coming
He said, hold on it’s very near
He said, hold on it’s coming
He said, hold on it’s almost here
The past few months have been grim. With the mercury making timid appearances above zero, the previously inconceivable actually happened: Berlin slightly lost some of its spark. During the city’s Ice Age - freezing from Christmas to February - the ice between our feet and the ground had also created a rift between us and our mojos.
Thankfully though, it seems that even Father Winter had had enough. By mid-February, Papa bailed - probably to a hotspot like Vegas - and gave us four golden days of rays.
During his break, Berlin also went on holiday. The city’s mood, frozen under the ice, also thawed and this feeling - smiling somewhere between groove, mojo, swing and skip - infected Technotown. Bikes, dresses, terraces and fresh encounters appeared on street corners. In just a few days, Berlin and Berliners remembered how to live without fighting frost.
It turns out though, Vegas wasn’t for Father Winter. His stay was short-lived and he returned strong and grumpy from Sin City. Winter’s now back and he’s making a point about it. As I wrote this, my jacket is still snow white and my rebellious grey hairs are invisible among the melting snow. If he thinks he’s won though, he’s wrong: Berlin’s holding on.
In those four days, the city woke up from its amnesia and remembered the taste of Summer buzz. Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Beach House, but our groove is back and no lack of ray days is going to stop it.
[Note to self: never write a piece about the weather and wait three days to post it. Just as I was laughing at how I was being snowed on while on my way to writing this, I was chuckling at how warm it was when I was on my way to post this today. If not Father Winter, then Berlin definitely has a sense of humor.]