Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Out in the country, where folks are naturally balanced by the weather all year round, in winter we city-goers go down the mountain on icy roads to the basic train station where we climb the windhowling stairs to stand familiarly atop the ice beside the snowfilled plastic seatbenches on the open train platform, playground of genuine country mountain winds we can lean on till the train comes, when, with ice in our strong country teeth and snow in our thick country hair we board the short country train for the long ride to the city and stops in between.

As the train gets nearer the city the stations and their comforts get a little cushier; at first you see platform windbreaks, then as the houses get fancier, closer together and higher the station platforms acquire escalators and feature enclosed cubicles of increasing size and fanciness; soon they have cushioned chairs, then elevators and heated cubicles, till near the city itself - which is one big heated, cushioned cubicle, more or less - the cubicles (such as at the Shinkansen station) look like they'll soon have stewards and stewardesses serving tea, coffee, brandy and cigars...

Arrived in the city we country folk detrain dressed for the weather, but there isn't any to speak of. In the greenhouse office I have to take off my sweater, you could grow orchids in here.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate the epic beauty of winter but have never been fond of being cold. This is easily remedied by dressing in warm clothing, making winter quite comfortable indeed. However, whenever I leave the mountain for a trip into 'the city', which is quite large and urban, the closer I physically get to arrival, the warmer I become. I have attributed this to stress or perhaps to fluctuating hormones that are in a winter of their own season. Your observation gave me one of those, OH! That's why I feel so warm, when the weather is winter there too, but not the winter I experience here at home.

Robert Brady said...

I grew up in the Siberia of upstate NY, so I love cold. Trouble is, going into the city from where I live now I have to unlayer like an onion, walking the dry streets wearing snowboots.