Freezing in London vs Sweating in Bucharest

Conversation with my mom , 30 January 2017

Mom: ‘I’m so happy. It’s finally warming up outside’.
Me: ‘Really? Here it’s freezing’
Mom: ‘Oh, poor you. Today the maximum temperature was -10ºC. I even left my winter coat at home and I didn’t freeze.’

I was shocked. What I meant by ‘freezing in London’ was that my weather app indicated a terrifying temperature of +6ºC.

I lived in Romania for 18 years and I cannot remember a winter without snow. And by snow, I mean real show. Mountains of snow. So much snow that you cannot open the door of your house. And despite all, the schools were still open, the managers expected all the employees to be at work by 8 o’clock and the news barely mentioned the weather. Therefore, I started to embrace the winter and to love a good snowball fight.

And then I came to England. I remember that the first time I saw ‘snow’ here was in my first academic year. It was a disaster, a nightmare, the apocalypse for every single British person. I remember that it started snowing when I was in the middle of a class. I will never forget the face of my professor. When he noticed that it was snowing his first instinct was to call the module leader to ask him if he should continue the class. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Why would we stop? There was nothing on the ground, it wasn’t freezing outside and it didn’t even last for more than 10 minutes.

From that moment on I realised that snow in England is either the worst enemy or a miracle. Nevertheless, I started to get used to this way of living and to actually believe in this. And now my mother sees me as I saw them 3 years ago – an irrational, overreacting person. And I really cannot blame her!


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