There is a saying here in Norway that real Norwegians are born with skiis on their feet. This is the single most important sign of me not being a “real” Norwegian! Skies are as exotic to me as a surfboards. Haven’t been on a pair of skiis since the sixth standard.
The event still haunts me, the cold, the snow, the skiis and the snow in my mouth. And to make matters worse, my teachers insisting this was fun! They were in their true element, gliding on their skiis through the awe-aspiring woods, the serene beauty, the silence and the occasional squirrel passing by. One would imagine this was in some kind of wilderness a few hours drive away. But this was at the doorstep of my eight-story high-rise.
What I loved about my attempts on the skiis were the breaks we had. All of us first-generation Norwegian-Pakistanis, kids of Pakistanis who never saw a ski in their life let alone be born with some on them! There we sat, under this gigantic pine covered with heavy snow. Most of the Norwegian kids sipping on their hot chocolate, us eating our ice-cold sandwiches! But boy was it a relief to get rid of the skies for a while! And the laughter us desi kids shared when we found out that hot chocolate in a thermos would have been a better choice. There was no point though, buying a thermos! We weren’t planning any ski-tours in the future…..
The 5 degrees below zero tonight reminded me of my skiing experiences….the shivers gave me something to remember and smile about.
So what if I don’t love the taste of snow in my mouth and the sensation of snow in my eyes, ears and neck. I love the Norwegian winter…. it truly is a breathtaking winter wonderland. With the 20 hours of dark each day, the only source of some light is the snow. Pray to god that the global warming doesn’t take that away from us!