When I moved to Belgium, my first winter experience in Europe was crazy, for the lack of a better word.
✦ The Cold Seasons in Kenya
In the cold seasons in Kenya, there is no snow, nor temperatures below 8 degrees. And from this point, I think that you can tell that my first winter experience in Europe was not a walk in the park.
✦ My Winter Experience in Cape Town
In the city of Cape Town, I had an experience of winter that had only cold temperatures.
Little did I know that the jackets, boots, and the scarfs that I had, were not enough for the winter with heavy snow, ice accumulation, freezing temperatures, and wind chills.
✦ My Arrival in Belgium
When I arrived in Belgium, it was Summer.
In fact, the weather was as nice as in Kenya, but I had to get used to the longer days. The other issue was trying to catch some sleep while there was so much light outside.
✦ My First Winter Experience in Europe
It all started to unfold in the autumn season. Autumn marks the transition from Summer to Winter and the temperature cools down considerably. At that point, I was already feeling the cold.
During this season the deciduous trees lose their leaves, usually after turning yellow, red, or brown. I found that so beautiful and phenomenal. And there is something beautiful about each season.
The reality had started to check-in. It was also another season of my life. I was officially an immigrant and everything was new to me.
On 21 December, the winter officially started. This was my first winter in Europe. My world literally turned upside down. And my body could not stand the freezing temperatures. I felt like my brain was freezing. I didn’t want even to go outside.
Inside the buildings was not a problem because of the heating systems.
The same way we enjoyed the long daylight in the Summer, it was time to enjoy longer dark nights and shorter days in the Winter.
✦ My Winter Lessons
I depended on my husband to learn the tricks of the season. I learned also through my own mistakes. For instance, when it was sunny, I wore a light jacket thinking that it was warm. You can imagine! I froze and I could not wait to get home. I also paid hard with influenza which knocked me down for two weeks.
Winter had also a positive side of it. I find it romantic to see and to feel the snow falling down. I cannot get enough of it to date!
✦ Some tips
- Buy heavy and long jackets, good scarfs, gloves, and winter boots
- The thermo-clothes would be of some help too
- When you get inside a building, first thing first, remove your jacket
- An electronic blanket would be of great help to warm up your bed
- Drink more coffee or soup and it will keep you warm
- Do not focus on thinking about the cold
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