The German winter was late in coming, but it has finally reared its ugly dragon head, and I must say, DO NOT LIKE. Everything is covered in ice, we're going down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow (lower with the windchill), and this just generally blows. But ever since the weather caught up with us two days ago, I've had the same conversation about it approximately twenty times, in which some German shouts triumphantly through twelve layers of fleece and animal pelt,"DOES IT GET THIS COLD IN NEW JERSEY!?!?" as if Germany trained very hard for the annual World Suckage Games and took home a close bronze metal, right after Siberia and Hell. "Yes," I say, "it does get this cold in New Jersey." In fact, it gets colder, but the difference is, we don't go outside.
This is how horrendously cold days work in my American life: you don't do anything. If you're feeling particularly ballsy, you put a pea coat and a scarf on, run to the car, complain about how far you have to park from Target and these cookies better be goddamn worth it, and then scream at the heater on the way home until it starts pumping out a toxic mixture of carbon monoxide and fear. At some point, your mother will walk in, slam the door, say "Brrr, it's brutally cold!" and roll the r's extra hard, just so you know the temperature has officially dropped to the point where you lose control of your tongue. You try fruitlessly to convince your friends to brave the elements for the seventeen seconds required to get in their car and drive to you, and they try to convince you to brave the elements for the seventeen seconds required to get in your car and drive to them, and in the end, nobody moves. Eventually you go in your room, huddle in front of your space heater like it's a trashcan fire, watch Hugh Jackman movies, and bemoan the state of the world.
This is how horrendously cold days work in my German life: nothing changes. Except suddenly, instead of biking around and saying, "It's a bit nippy out here, isn't it?" you say, "Hello Jesus, if you love mankind, you will unfreeze my kidneys from my spinal cord. Oh, I'm sorry, maybe you didn't hear me? I HATE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD AND I WANT TO CRASH MY BIKE INTO A GAS STATION SO AT LEAST I CAN GO OUT IN A BALL OF WARMTH." That L.L.Bean jacket meant for arctic temperatures that you totally thought was overkill? Nope. Nope. It is not. Because as it turns out, not only are you biking headlong into the windchill, you are also, by virtue of your activity, making the windchill that much worse. Not only does it suck, it sucks more than I could possibly exaggerate it sucking. It's the kind of soul-numbing cold that gulag prisoners lose eight fingers and a nose escaping from, only to arduously type out a bestseller with their thumbs, sell the movie rights, and then show up on Oscar night with an escort-I-mean-model on the end of their prosthetic hands.
In other news, my procrastination project of the week has been attempting to revive the potted plant in my room. I'm really, really bad at plants, as is evidenced by this one, which I forgot to water for six and a half months. Currently my plan of attack is to feed it every ten minutes and drag it around my room as the sun moves. I think it's working. I tried to prune some of the worst bits today, and it spit yellow plant juice at me. So either my plan is working, or it's turned into that dinosaur from Jurassic Park that spits acid in your eyes and then tears out your intestines while you try to beat it off with stolen embryos.