lauantai 5. joulukuuta 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

While I continue to write in English, today's topic is something that we Finns are a lot more familiar with than Americans in the DC area - that is snow. I have always loved December in Finland; its blue light around three o'clock in the afternoon, heaps of snow (remember that in the 90s when I was growing up there was always snow in December and no one mentioned the words global warming or climate change), the frosty air and the anticipation of the approaching holiday. Now that I don't get to experience that, snow has come to represent Finland aka home for me and that is why I never, NEVER thought I'd see snow in DC before going home for Christmas. Not until I saw the weather forecast on Thursday and realized that we could be getting some snow this weekend!

And for once the weather man was actually right, it's been snowing since morning (some people might call it sleet but it sticks to the ground so potayto potahto say I) and I couldn't be happier! Not only does it feel like home but it also feels like Christmas. I never thought I'd say this but I missed it all: the greyness that comes with it and makes you switch on the lights at 1pm, the streets covered in melting snow that will turn into puddles in no time and ruin your shoes and the no-good DC drivers who are bad even on a regular day and worse when it snows. I didn't have to wear my sunglasses today and I got to wear the thickest coat I have with me here and I was still freezing. Yes, it made me happy because it made me feel right at home and even though weather is the one thing I actually don't miss about Finland, I guess I didn't know that getting to experience that even for one day brought back a sense of belonging I didn't even know I was longing to have in the first place.

Still, I have to say that people in DC do not know how to handle snow. Even though it's been snowing all day, it's been mixed with water so it's not like we have several feet of snow on the ground (more like a couple of inches which will most likely disappear by morning) and even so, it seemed to take forever to drive up and down Wisconsin Avenue today (I guess people were terrified of driving in the snow even though there was no snow to drive in since it melted once it hit the streets). On top of that, I saw several ploughs - or what seemed to be more like a plough attached to the front-bumper of a pick-up - even though there was no snow to be ploughed! I understand heavy equipment when cars can't get around in the streets during blizzards but come on, we were talking about a couple of inches. I just love the "Snow emergency routes" -signs and can't wait to get a real blizzard in January and February and actually get snowed in. Because that is what happens here; if there is too much snow, schools will be closed that day (too bad it was Saturday today) and people might not go to work because it's just too difficult to move around. As I said, these people don't know how to handle snow and for someone coming from a country where there is snow on the ground for 6 months out of 12, it seems just plain silly. But look who's talking when summer and the infamous DC humidity kicks in...

I am hoping to get more snow as Christmas is drawing closer but odds are it will all be gone by tomorrow morning. Nevertheless, I was happy to get to experience even this one day of sleet, snow and general chaos in the DC streets because it reminded of home and of the fact that I do love winter. Don't get me wrong, I love that I can go out without a coat in November and that my feet are not soaking wet everytime I go out from October till December and then again from March till May but there's a reason why Bing Crosby sings about White Christmas. Thus, let it snow!

2 kommenttia:

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Koko ajatus snowdayseista laittaa kyllä ison hymyn suomalaisen naamalle. ;)

Siellä taitaa tosin olla nyt enemmän lunta kuin täällä. Ovat lupailleet, että ainakin pohjoisessa olisi valkoinen joulu, mutta jää nähtäväksi. Missä ne pakkaset viipyy?! =)

t. Tiina

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Wau, lunta. Se on nykyään tuntematon käsite Suomessa, ainoastaan valokuvista pongattava. Kenties se suuri maapallon lämpenemisprojekti kääntääkin mittasuhteet ylösalaisin, kun kaikki merivirrat vaihtavat suuntaa jne. Saadaan lämpöaalllot Suomeen ja pakkanen etelään. Kuulostaako loistavalta idealta?