Greek Mum Correspondent: Chrysoula Koutsouri, Munich (apomamasemama.com)
It’s been four years now that we live in Central Europe, but it is the first time that my son’s wish for white days came already true in the beginning of winter: yes, this year it really snows! And when I say it snows, I do not mean it snows like in Greece for two days, we play, we get happy, it ends. When I say it snows, I mean it snows – with short breaks – over the past month. And it snows so much that I have now forgotten how it is to see the road beneath your feet. So far so good. What seems inconceivable is that, unlike Greece, here everything moves smoothly, as if nothing weird happens, as if it is perfectly normal to live in a whitewashed world.
So you wake up in the morning, open the shutters and see the snowy trees. You don’t quail. You dress the children with winter trousers and thick snow boots – calculate one quarter more until they wear everything (scarf, gloves, caps, etc.) – wear the same accessories and go. If you decide to walk with the stroller, take into account the double force that you need to push it on the snow. If you choose the car alternative, be prepared for a little skating in the alleys, despite winter tires. Other than car is fine if you have a basement garage, but if not? You are screwed. Add another 15 minutes to clean the snow off your car. You open the car door (after having entered into the snow till your knee) and get the special snow toothbrush. You begin cleaning the snow off from everywhere. If you hurry or are bored, you let the snow on top. But if you fear that you will get a fine, you clean all of it. You do not forget to clean the sign too. And you hope that the unpleasant surprise of ice does not wait for you under the snow, because then the toothbrush turns around and serves as an ice scraper. Add another 5 minutes in your time. And do not think to cheat and scrape only the windshield. Fines wait for you for the remaining windows too. What? You’re smart and you opened the engine to warm the car from the beginning? Another fine awaits for you.
So, you enter the car only when you’re completely ready and you get off the surrounding snow, leaving behind a large footprint. You are finally off. You may have to guess what some signs show, but do not worry, you are not alone. You come back in the afternoon from work and have to deal with your worst enemy: the ice, which is even more dangerous. You learn not to make sudden movements, you become the best driver. And you arrive at home hoping that all this will end soon. “What, don’t you like snow anymore?”, a friend of mine here mocks. “You waited for it with so much enthusiasm”. She is right, like a child that I am, I was impatient, I wanted to make a snowman, to play with the sled. But by now I have done all of these more than once, I have had enough. Can this game end now?, I am thinking as I arrive to take my children from school. Once I turn in the corner though, I look at them running into the snowy yard, throwing snowballs to each other and shouting ecstatic. Although it has already been a month that they do this every day, they are not at least bored. And just like that, I stop complaining. One more month patience. It is bound to end…