Sunday, January 21, 2007


No much happened this past week over here at Euro-American Life except the damn crazy weather. Judging by the things I have been reading in the paper, we are not the only ones having one kooky winter.

Back in December I noticed that this was not going to be a normal winter. About a week before Christmas all of the newspapers and radios reported that it was going to be "the warmest December in 1000 years." Maybe I heard / read it wrong, because my first thought was, "How the hell do you know what the temperature was 1000 years ago?!" It has been very warm. It is January 21, and I have only scrapped ice off my windows twice. There has not been a glimmer of snow in sight. Today I heard on the radio that people in Moscow are depressed because it is cold there, but they haven't had any snow. Apparently Moscow is a dreary place when is rainy, cold and dark. Snow adds to the . . . shall we say . . . ambiance.

Anyway, C-burg has not had any snow but DEFINITELY its share of rain. Today the German even commented that it can stop raining any time now. Trust me, when the locals notice that the rain is too much, then it really is.

On Thursday I had my first taste of a German winter storm, called an "Orkan ." I looked it up in the dictionary, which translated it as a "hurricane" or "winter gale." I am going with winter gale, because I grew up in South Carolina and I know what a hurricane is like (i.e. Hugo, 1989).

It was raining pretty hard and a little windy Thursday morning as I ran my normal errands (bank, supermarket, dry cleaners). As I was driving home the radio reported that all the schools in the state were closing because of the "impending storm." Huh? Dude. It's rain. I think you have all seen it before. The German sent me an SMS and told me that he was coming home and that I should stay put.

Hmm. I found this all very curious. I got home and turned on the TV. Something called Orkan Kryill was about to sweep across Germany and the entire country was under a severe storm warning. Wow. I was supposed to drive to the next town over and teach English. I called the company at 2:00pm and the main receptionist said that the lessons were still on.

When the German got home and I informed him that I was still going to drive to my English lesson at 3:45pm, he was not happy. At 3:00pm the phone rang. It was one of the participants from my English class. "Um, Claire, are you still coming this afternoon?"

"Um, yeah." By this time I was a little annoyed. I mean what was the big deal. It was just a little wind and rain. At that moment I was looking out the window. A gust of wind came by and bent the neighbors tree in half. Then there was a flash of light and a clap of thunder. Wow.

"Um, Claire, don't you drive a Smart?"


"Well, seeing as you might fly away while driving here, perhaps it would be best to cancel the lesson."

For once, I was not going to fight German sensibility. Turns out that an Orkan is really dangerous . . . but I still think that a hurricane is worse.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) the Orkan brought winter with it. There is supposed to be frost tonight and snow is in the weekly forecast. Wouldn't you know it, we were supposed to move on Friday. Keep reading. I'll let you know if we do.


christina said...

I'm sure glad you didn't get out there in your little Smart on Thursday! I think the dangerous thing about these storms is that it's not a steady stream of wind, but really big gusts that blow everything around when you're not expecting it. Or something. What do I know. I'm sure the storms in the U.S. are nothing compared to it but it was still pretty scary.

jen said...

like rogue waves, i think. It really is a good thing you weren't out in Smarty. Dorothy and her little dog come to mind.

Hamish said...

I'd say the Orkan bringing winter with it is unfortunate. I caved today and wore gloves on my walk to work; I almost made it to February, though. Pretty awesome.

Btw, does your Smart car come with an anchor for occasions like that?

Anonymous said...

1989??? You were still just a little kid.
What is "normal" weather?? It's always normal. We have a saying around here-- "if you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes, and it will change" Be happy with the changes. Just think how boring it would be if there were no changes.

Love, Grandpa

Carrie said...

haha, ok I'm totally seeing this visual of Claire flying away in her Smart car....haha! I am hysterically laughing now. Makes you miss the topless Mustang, doesn't it???

and.....eeeeeeeeeeewwww, moving in the snow. You are never going to like this house.


Mike B said...

I lived in Florida for more than a few Hurrican seasons, and so my first thought was also, "Gee, it's just a little wind." I also lived in Nebraska, which is the US version of Siberia and its cold. I like the fact that weather in Germany is for the most part pretty tame, even when it is bad by local standards.