Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Iarna in Bucuresti Centru - Winter in the Center

Tuesday in the Parc with Gloves

     Usually from a decidedly X or XX thousand mile distance, while much of the US, probably with the frequent exception of Buffalo, New York, deals with its usual, normal, average winter conditions, we long-suffering ex-pats can get away with serious whining and complaining - oooh aaah - about the bitterly cold conditions soooo close to the Ukraine.       Have you heard of Russian Winter? Brrrrr.
     So, well, ok, maybe occasionally we eggagerflating expats perhaps do make our sojourns into foreign territory seem just a touch more...oh... adventurous .. a bit different- a smidge more frigid. And winter is a really good time to keep you thinking that we are, naturally, several tens of degrees more way cool than we think you already think we are.
     Cuz, hey, what do you know? You don't live here. You don't even come to visit.
But if you really want to get geographical, actually, the Ukraine? Ha! Siberia? Not even close! The truth lies somewhere else. Bucharest locates more South even than that Hungarian Budapest you keep mistaking us for. And way more West than icy Novosibirsk.
We're just heels and toes above sunny Istanbul, and in fact, in a much more temperate climate than, oh, say, Oslo or Copenhagen, or a lot of Wisconsin for that matter. And in this year of "Told ya so" Al-Gore inconvenient cold spells, even with the white out, we may, this year and next actually be warmer than Cleveland or Pocatello or, who knows, Palm Springs or Pizmo Beach.
     Which isn't to say that Bucharest can't get a chill on. As you can see from my walk in the parc.
     It is often said of this city that there are only two seasons here: Dust and Mud. Ba nu. (that means, "Not so fast, Buddy" in Romaneste.) In fact there are three seasons. Dust. Mud. And Frozen White Mud. Which is what we have now, and what I see right now from my aerie in Bucharest Center (Bucuresti centru) because when it gets like this, my instinct is to stock up on DVD's and park the car till thaw.
     But for you, I laced up my Austrian snow boots, put on my politically incorrect but necessary fur hat, and thought you might like to see what a winter walk in the parc does actually look like right now here in an exotic Eastern Post Socialist Republic you always promise yourself you'll visit someday, but won't.
     It ain't Vladivostok. But it also ain't exactly Miami Beach either.
     Stay cool, y'all. And keep warm.

(Cismigiu [Chis-mi-jew] Park, Central Bucharest, January, 2011)