Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.

Intermittent Unconsciousness

I may have reached an interesting new level. While I’m hesitant to call it a low, some wouldn’t be. It is possible that people working at the hostel looked at me as a hobo. With my room still not ready and plans to go on a 90 minute guided walk of the city, I needed sleep. Through drowsy half-waking eyes I noticed a couple staff preparing rooms walking past me as I curled up in a loveseat, feet up on the armrest, head on a folded pillow, fingers interlaced in my daypack. It was better than a park bench.

I’ve since crashed out in the room as well for a nap until the cold weather and my frozen unprotected toes woke me up.

In prepping for this trip, I was living in Washington DC in June. The average daily high was somewhere between 80 and 95. The average daily low was somewhere around 75. When you live in that heat and humidity and you try to plan for a colder climate, your brain sees two levels of cold. Colder than now – light weight jacket, maybe a fleece, long pants. And Winter – parka, snow pants, thermals. In my brain the division between these two levels is the freezing point, and the pictures either have snow or they don’t. It is that simple. It is also wrong. 52F doesn’t sound cold. It sounds temperate, maybe even a little chilly. But after being out it in, after typing this sitting near the open front door and having to exhale in my cupped hands from time to time to keep my fingers nimble, I now appreciate that 50 is cold. And I’ll gladly accept being called a wuss by anyone willing to send me enough money to buy gloves, a scarf, and possibly a coat, as everything here is expensive. Not as much as it used to be, apparently, and that is terrifying. Stores here are like shopping in skymall for everything without the cool gadgets.

One comment on “Intermittent Unconsciousness

  1. Liz
    June 16, 2010

    50 is cold if you’re used to 85. 50 is downright balmy if you’re used to 20. It’s ok for you to feel cold right now. I approve and sympathize. 🙂

    In a strange twist of fate, my friend Christine is going to Iceland with her boyfriend this week. They’re also going to be driving the Ring Road and camping, and obviously spending some time in the city you’re currently in that I’m not going to try to spell. Keep your eye out for her! The universe is a strange enough place that I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys ran into each other.

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This entry was posted on June 16, 2010 by in Iceland.

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