18 December 2008

Cold Quirks

December's Write-Away Entry for Scribbit:

Germans have this idea that being cold leads to being sick, no matter what. I can't even tell you how many times people have commented that I wasn't wearing nylons, so I was going to get sick, or my hair was still wet and I wasn't inside, so I was going to get sick, or I'd forgotten to wear my scarf, so I was going to get sick. I've gone my whole life rejecting nylons (which I don't think keep legs any warmer anyway), rushing places with wet hair, and not even owning a scarf. I say, if you worry that much about it, you are the one going to get sick.

I know being warm is pleasanter. In fact, my family can attest to me always complaining about the lack of warmth, no matter how boiling hot everyone else was--my mom used to tell me that I should take up a winter sport so I would stop saying "I hate winter." But since I got an email in February informing me of an extraordinary amount of money to be paid for the last winter's heating, I have never once turned my heat on. What does this profit me? Nothing, probably. Am I crazy? Absolutely.

I used to check the temperature as soon as I opened my MacBook, convert it to Fahrenheit, and then compare it to Salt Lake's temperature. Although I haven't checked for months, there have been mornings when I thought I would much rather stay in pajamas all day than experience the cold that is clothes that have been in the closet all night. There have been days when I purposely didn't go home until I absolutely had to. There have been evenings when I sat at my computer with a scarf wrapped around my face in an attempt to keep my nose and ears warm. But you know what? I've learned a lot from this experience.

For example, I've learned to say my morning prayers and do my morning scripture reading under the covers. I sit on my clothes before I change into them to warm them up. I now know how to layer better than Shade Clothing Company itself--socks and pants included, meaning I've let go of all hopes of style. I've perfected the daily window slam to protest the bathroom window left open by the roomies, and I know not to even consider touching a bare or even a be-socked foot to the wood floor--feet must always be in shoes or resting on something thick, like the sleeping mat that acts as a footrest under my desk. My body's liquid level has gone up since I've discovered the wonders of a hot glass of . . . water. Or soup. I might even venture to say that the cold has at times been a good motivation for me to study in the library or in the halls at the university, or to be very (okay, ridiculously) punctual to institute or church, or to exercise often in order to stay warm.

More practically, I've gotten used to the cold, which comes in handy when I leave my apartment--I no longer stand at the train stop wishing I could just die and go to heaven. Instead, I re-direct that energy to ensuring I don't lose yet another pair of gloves. In short, I've become even more quirky (no small feat).

So what's the point of all these details? Who knows? But I think I'll go snuggle under my two down comforters and wait for them to warm up.


  1. Aren't you the one who's been sick so much lately?

  2. Funny--don't they know it's germs and not cold that makes you sick? :)

    Me too, CONSTANTLY cold. From October to April every year.

  3. oh yes, I got a bill for my utilities from 2007... I just paid them 135e last week. I think that's a little excessive.

    I don't understand their system at all. here we always pay monthly fees that are the same for all, and then if the total goes over, they'll higher the fees for the following year...

    but still, Germany was always so cold because they're so cheap when it comes to paying for heating... or anything.

    I stayed in my apartment for a week before my paperwork was finished and the old tenant would come over and secretly turn off the radiators because he didn't want to pay for my heating. because one week's heating bill must be like 3€!!!

  4. i'm sorry, but that just sounds miserable. i hate not being able to get out of bed without freeeezing. i hope spring comes quickly for you.