Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I feel like I live in Russia, while everyone around me lives in America.
It's been blisteringly cold here, and, because I don't know how to drive, I've been taking my son to his twice-weekly nursery school on a sled (everyone else rumbles past me in four-wheel drive). One of the main reasons I chose this school was that it's in walking distance, about a half-mile away. We got the sled after I tried getting there in the stroller one day after a snowstorm. We were unprepared for the fact that after snowstorms in our new town, there is snow banked up at every curbside, and not everyone shovels the walk in front of their homes. I ended up making my son walk while I dragged the stroller behind me through the snow. A kind woman rolled down her windshield to ask if we needed help, and a crew of sanitation workers commandeered their garbage truck in our direction, thinking my car had broken down. It was too complicated to explain to them that we were recently arrived from a place where one doesn't need to drive. From the looks of us, we might as well have been from Russia.
My sister said that I reminded her of the Lapland Woman from Hans Christian Anderson's wonderful tale "The Snow Queen," who, because she never wastes anything, writes a message to the Finland woman on a dried cod. Let's hope that even these experiences won't go to waste.