Living in a winter wonderland: the dark, cold downside

For the first time in my life, I can say with convictions that I now truly understand what it feels like to be completely and utterly freezing. With Krakow’s temperatures set to remain below -10 for the entire week, and according to my roommate, possibly -20 next week, I feel as if the long delayed winter is making up for lost time. I remember placing bets with friends earlier in the semester as to which date the snow would finally arrive, we were all a long way off, with the first real ‘snow’ on dec 21st. even afterwards there was strange spells of dry and warm days….sweating in all my coats was a funny memory. However now I cannot seem to put on enough layers. I purchased gloves for the first time in my life, and yet my hands are still cold. The depths of the Cracovian winter are without a doubt the coldest temperatures I have lived in, despite a lot of travel through the north of Europe and Scandinavia.

However I should not be taken as complaining of my time here, I am still thoroughly enjoying my ‘double life’ in which I am existing in a city almost the polar opposite of Adelaide. I guess that’s what attracted me to the idea of an exchange in the first place. I have been taking breaks from study, trekking up to a lookout/fortress complex where the snow is much higher than in the city, and it feels like an escape to the mountains, with challet like architecture and an old Christian graveyard. It is nice to be able to escape the noise and pollution of the city, especially since Krakow seems to enjoy a large amount of both.

With the nearing of my time here, I am beginning to realise that all this wintery stuff has without me noticing, become my daily and normal life. I am now used to rugging up for the cold, a big difference from the flip flops and singlets that I get about it in Adelaide for a trip to the shops. I now think about which shoes to wear, and which jacket to bring in case of rain or snow. In a few weeks I will be flying back into Adelaide, in what I can only think will be a big climate adjustment. I however know of the extremes of Australian summer, and feel slightly worried for my exchangee friend Mateusz, who will be experiencing the sizzling heat for the first time. Luckily we have the beach, and air conditioning 🙂

I am almost finished exams now, with two in the next two days, and I am lucky enough to be participating in a ski-trip organised by a group of students and teachers from Jagiellonian Uni. This I feel will make a fitting end to a semester in a winter climate.

until next time goodbye 🙂

Adam

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