Winter Wonderland Hell

Oh lovely! The singing of the incensed Rooster signifies the time to awake. With an inept roll out of bed, I’ll throw on a third layer of pants. Might as well add some gloves, a scarf, and a hat just to take my morning piss. Don’t worry about the toes, I think to myself. They’re numb anyway. There is no need for a colorful widget on a fancy smartphone to tell me the weather forecast.

It’s fucking cold. 

Since all the pipes have froze, I must bundle up yet again and walk to the well. Thank baby Jesus its’ buried so far into the earth, it hasn’t had a chance to freeze over yet. I’ll fill a bucket, shlup it back to the house and put a pot on the stove to boil. Conservative, must I be, this one vessel will be utilized to brush my teeth, make some coffee, and double-down as a door de-froster. As I learned early on, I take advantage of those 15 minutes the water takes to boil. I run back into bed under the warmth of my decorative carpet (let my host family believe they fooled me into thinking it was a blanket), writhe around for several minutes and self-indulgently mumble the Russian/Moldovan curse words my basketball team screech after every missed basket or pass. Trust me, that happens quite often. Damnigly, I hear the whistle of the kettle and shuffle my frozen blocks to the kitchen. It’s time to start the god damn wonderful day. 

Ah, the walk to school. I’m so happy I don’t have to scrape ice off my rain-resistant winshield and I don’t even regret not investing in that remote control car ignition. Why? My 1.5 mile trudge to school provides this kid with lavish time to rehearse my best darth vader impression through the wool covering my mouth and transform into any Hollywood actor I desire because of my ridicous wardrobe choice – complete with hipster sunglasses. Dont be confused, the presence of sunlight is in short supply, but the blinding whiteness and reflections authorizes the vanity. Nothing but white. As far as I can see. Feeling the cold running through my synapses, I take pride that the heaving snowflakes get stuck in my beard – like a winter grizzly man. Just another day. The arrival at school is only realized once I detach  from the multifaceted battle gear I encrusted myself with. Savoring the 96 seconds I potted to unwind, I switch out my industrial waders for whatever I found that could pass as occupational appropaite. Then comes my favorite part: I get to gently wiggle my face and tremble through the trauma as I free any liquid/mucous/hair that subsequently froze into a light cobweb of icicles. Using my nose like a joystick, it’s kinda like Pacman!

My Moldovan army and I convulse through the lessons and rudiments of the day clad in wool hats, hand-me-down long underwear, and dispositions that would make a monk rambling with questions. I use this gorgeous vacation weather as a threshold to educate about first aid, importance of vitamins and minerals, and mental health (probably via masturbation). Supporting each other with ultra-lengthy hugs and several a tête-à-tête that occur at atomic distances, we ooze merriment whenever the Soare cu dinti (sun with teeth) fleetingly emerges from the opaque sky.

I follow the same conduit back home, and without a magic button or supernatural dial on the wall to grab on to, must decipher some manner of warmth. Next up, the slow process of gathering enough coal and allowing it to heat up, before I can suffocate it with hourly installations of chopped wood – guess who chopped it. In between stuffing machnisms, I figure I should be fixin some adjunct chow. This, being the slim pickings it is, comes down to any vegetable or fruit we had pickled over the summer, or the small quantity of frozen meat we still have left. It’s cool, though, because the daily craving for potatoes/beans is a forged knack I have conquered. The oranges sitting on the counter are feasts to my eyes, solely because they possess color other than white. I hate oranges.

All is said and done, and I can sit at my desk and inhale. Followed by a puff out of emitted pallid steam, my first world aparatus facing me reads „After heavy snowfall, City of Atlanta closed”.

Borderline furious.

A madcap snort and cackle escape my mouth, out of reflex.

You post up on floors of pharamcies and in isles of supermarkets? Solid move. We snuggle opposite the pig pens and bathe in the tepid gas our bean and potato diet produces. Shut down your highways, you say? You’d think our buses and cars are tanks the way they  effortlessly glide over the winter-stricken roads. It was revealed, through conversation with someone all fancy who goes and owns a television, that the day presented an amiable –   -8 degree environment. The 2+ feet of snow acting as a soft jacket to the ground didn’t cause as much as a murmur of disruption to the day’s activities, not to mention a possible thought to a two hour delay or school cancellation.

But have no fear, all you non Eastern Europeans. Not only will I survive, but I will prevail. Moldovans have found a way to think this time of year is actually quite beautiful. In fact, their spirits are raised, not weakened. Oh, and then there is this thing called a soba. It is my personal wall-sized ceramic kiln used to heat up the rooms in which it encompasses. Its so wonderful, it defies a man’s love of affixing his frigid hands to his balmy testicles.

Don’t mind me – I’m just living in luxury over here.

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*This blog was written as a satirical piece and in no way was meant to criticize or offend anyone. If it has… c’mon man, make yourself a drink and laugh at yourself once in a while. I’m just trying to keep my sense of humor to get through these freezing  months. 

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Hayley in Cambodia

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