In September 2012 I moved to Aarhus, since I planned on doing my first Master year here. Cool, I thought. Denmark is supposed to be pretty nice. Now I am thinking: Cool, now I cannot feel my feet anymore and my hands start to become blue, because of the cold! I am not kidding winter in Aarhus is rough!
The first day, after I came back from Berlin, Aarhus welcomed me with heavy snowstorms and suddenly I fell in love with that small city again. Not. You have probably noticed a little melancholy towards leaving Berlin in my last post. I really gave Aarhus a chance and simply focused on meeting my friends at university again and on smelling the 24/7 cinnamon aromas in our kitchen again. BUT: people that know me also know that I am not the perfect winter person and that I prioritise a bit higher degrees to minus degrees. Obviously, I survived a few winters already but this one now, in Aarhus, is a challenge to the max.
Challenge Number One: What am I gonna wear?
Of course practical Danes are prepared for this weather. Snow boots in different forms and colours are now THE trend in Aarhus. I myself try to survive the winter with my, at least pretty stylish, wannabe-winter boots which complain about the smallest snowfall. Also, I think it is now pretty cool to wear two instead of one pair of gloves. Additionally, the fast act of taking off your clothes transformed itself into a 5-minute-act. Lastly, my H&M coat is crying already and due to my year in Bali I possess more tops than anything else. Totally prepared, that’s what I am.
Challenge Number Two: How am I gonna get from A to B?
Ok, I must admit, the clothes problem is much smaller than the one of the transportation in Aarhus. The bike is the best friend of Danes and especially of those living in Aarhus. Indeed there is the one or the other bus existing. However, they mostly stop at a certain hour, so that your beer after finishing work is not possible anymore. Well, I tried to do it the Danish way and cycled down town. This ended in a 30-minute-ride (it normally takes 15 minutes) and a few amused glances of Danes around me. Still, it does not matter how cold it is: you will always find a few brave Danes crawling up the hill in the biggest snowstorm ever. Crazy.
Challenge Number Three: How am I gonna survive the winter in the end?
Ja, ja, ok. Indeed, there is some beauty behind the white scene outside. A few days ago I met one of my roommates in the kitchen. He was staring outside, being absolutely amazed by the white landscape of our courtyard, and asked me: “It is beautiful right?”. Well, beautiful in that question meant the fact that everything was covered in snow. Trees, streets, cars, everything is white. Beautiful? Well, people say you should always leave when things are at their best. Well, Aarhus, I think now is the right time. Neither my clothes nor my bike and by far definitely not the public transport in Aarhus support winter survival in Aarhus. Especially not for a complaining German like me. No, it is not nice to wake up at 10 and discovering the first steps of dawn at 4 already. And it is also not nice to miss a bus and wait for the next one, arriving in 10 minutes, standing outside the cold, which is slightly touched by breezes of the Baltic Sea combined with Aarhus’ humidity. Also, Aarhus feels more and more empty. I believe that the way to work or uni and back are right now probably the only ones people take. This leads to the fact that you might be the only person in the streets at… 8pm.
Within my first week in Aarhus, I was taught the following: Aarhus has 15 months. There are the ordinary 12 months of a year and then there is November, November and November. In other words: from November on there are three months of full cold, rain, snow, hail and anything else that is far away from cheering you up.
Well, I will go back to bed and wait for… summer?