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Friday, January 31, 2014

So this is winter...

Eighteen days.  Eighteen, straight days.

It's been eighteen, straight days of snow here in Oslo.

That's 1 followed by an 8 (I just want to make sure you understand, sorry for the overkill).

I no longer live in a city in Norway.  I live on a mound of snow where walking down the street has become a human version of Mouse Trap.  Yes, if a building has a red sign out in front that says "takrasfare" (Roof landslides), then it's your own fault if you get hit/hurt from said "roof landslides'.  No litigation, no recourse.  They did put the sign out.

So, now, the first, obvious question.

"Why are you surprised that it's snowing so much?"

I'm surprised because that's a lot of snow.  I didn't even think it snowed this much in Greenland (which, contrary to my belief isn't full of a bunch of broke, white people listening to John Mellencamp records, but with like Inuits… who knew?) or Antarctica, let alone a major city hundreds of miles from the arctic circle (I bring up "major city" because the concentration of all the things that make a city a city tend to make cities warmer and, in case you're scoring at home, Oslo is 600 km/327 miles south of the arctic circle.  The same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska).

The second, less-obvious question.

"So, uh, what's that like?"

It's what I'd imagine living in a snow globe (sans the shaking) or being stuck in "Frozen" must be like.  The snow is constantly falling but, judging by the picnic table in our back garden, doesn't seem to be accumulating as much as one would imagine.  On the sidewalks, which are constantly shovelled (the plow business in Oslo is like the sun tan lotion business in Miami), there is about 8 inches (20 centimetres) and the roads tend to just be a finely, compact layer of snow with worn to the surface tire marks.  In some spots, the drifts are over 6 feet deep (1.83 meters), but you're not going to be walking and just disappear from view (take relief, mothers).  Though, the ice (which, surprisingly isn't that bad) claims victims on the regular.

The thing that makes the snow the worst is the weekend.

You have to really, REALLY want to go outside because it's such an elaborate process.  "Do I have warm enough clothes on?", "Do I have the right shoes on that won't leave my feet wet and cold?", "Will I flip out if these pants are damaged by salt, barnevogn wheels, old man shoe spikes?"

Important questions of our time.

But, when you're sitting inside and the fireplace is roaring and you found that perfect Spotify playlist from the Browse feature, it's pretty beautiful.

Well, until you have to go outside again.

Then it just sucks.


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