I wasn’t well-prepared for this winter!
I have rarely experienced cold weather in the first 24 years of my life. The city I come from has 3 seasons; Summer, rainy and summer lite. I never had to think about jackets or sweaters or anything else. People will actually give you a dirty look if you are wearing a jacket in the chilly temperatures of 25 degrees.
The good side of it is you never have to keep shopping for clothes. Whatever you buy, turns out to be an all-season wear. However, on the other side, life doesn’t teach you lessons like the Zwiebelprinzip! The Zwiebelprinzip is basically wearing your clothes, jackets and more in such a way that it provides maximum insulation and heat (covering each layer like the scales of an onion). Called Layered clothing in English, it is very easy to not pay attention to it and get a first-hand, rude awakening from mother nature herself, like I had.
So in the winter we just experienced, I made an impromptu decision to go to a place called Ruselabsatz (It is a really beautiful place, especially in the winter. You should totally check it out). It is a place near Deggendorf which is around 20 minutes by car from the Zentrum and 35 minutes by bus. Something that you should remember about this bus : it is only available with a gap of around 2 hours between each bus (this will be important afterwards). Anyway, I hopped on the bus at 12.15. The weather said it wouldn’t be that cold, so I had a winter jacket, a t-shirt, thermals and jeans. I also did have a bandana scarf, gloves and a beanie. It was enough...for the start.
The entire place was of course covered in snow (as it usually is in winter) and I was so happy to walk around. I opted against getting the 3 pm bus because I wanted to see more paths. That was a wrong move. I thought I would be okay. With the sun setting at 4.30, I figured I could reach the bus stop by then and then wait for the bus which was supposed to come at 5.
However, once it was 4, the temperature drop was massive and it started getting windy,blowing in through the open gaps in the wooden walls of the bus-stop (more like a shed with cobwebs and splinters). I reached the bus-stop, semi-frozen, with snow deep in my shoes, shivering. My feet were going numb and I was actually freezing. By 4.50, it was pitch black and there wasn’t any light in the shed either. I was actually scared that the bus would miss me because the next bus was supposed to come 2 hours later at 7. There was no way I would have made it till then. I stepped outside the bus stop with the torchlight on my phone illuminating my face, so that the bus driver doesn’t miss me.
You won’t believe when I tell you, the driver actually sped past me. I saw my life flash before my eyes seconds before he actually stopped 10 steps ahead of the bus stop. I literally had to muster all the energy I had stored to get into the bus.
I learned my lesson because a few weeks after this, I was out for a walk with a German friend at night and this time, I had the right set of clothes and she was shivering! Nothing less.
Even in the spring, you could use this as it tends to get chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoon. Layers in, layers out. Long story short, if you ever find yourself asking ,,Should I wear more layers?”, the answer is always YES!
Till next time,
Ajay Raghunath is an Angewandte Informatik Masters Student (he recently learned the pronunciation) from India. He has been an ESN member ever since and keeps saying he is an Arsenal fan like it is a badge of honour. He loves to eat even though it doesn't seem like he does. He is a traveller who likes to experience new adventures.