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October 10, 2008 10-10-SnowDay!

Almost all my windows are frosted. I’d never really noticed this until today, and I only noticed it because I was in the one room with clear glass windows – the bathroom (go figure – fortunately, it faces a brick wall across a narrow alley) – and out the window I saw SNOW! Not just white-stuff-on-the-ground-that-was-probably-hail-anyway, but actual snow. Big chubby flakes, pouring out of the sky and sticking on the ground. A quick check of my new indoor/outdoor thermometer confirmed that it was 37 outside – perfect snow weather – and a balmy 44 inside. I was so excited that I went into the kitchen and started making oatmeal.

This might not be a normal reaction. But I’ve been saving my box of oatmeal – available only in the biggest cities – for cold weather, and today seemed like a great opportunity. :) I also made a pot of tea, some herbal stuff that the former volunteer left behind. It’s pretty fantastic, actually – Ruby Mist from Stash. Then I did the dishes, which was probably a mistake; the water is only a few degrees above freezing, and my hands have been red ever since (and that was over an hour ago).

Also, it turns out that the former volunteer left me about 30 spices, but NOT cinnamon or ginger or nutmeg or cloves, all of which I’d been planning to sprinkle on my oatmeal. They’re all available in the souq, I just hadn’t realized that I’d need to get them. [Update 10/15: She did have cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg and cloves. I just hadn't found them yet.]

Today is supposed to be a souq day here in Berberville, but apparently it’s a Snow Day instead – it’s the first Friday in the four months that I’ve been here that has no souq. Saturdays are also supposed to be souq days – Berberville is regionally important enough that we get two – so I’ll see if anything shows up tomorrow. If not, I’ll take a run into SouqTown on Monday. It’s also warmer down there. :)

Status check: I’m in my sleepsack, in my sleeping bag, wearing two pairs of socks, long underwear pants, PJ pants, a tank top, a long underwear top, a flannel shirt, and a fleece jacket, and I’m only slightly chilly. Except for my fingers. Turns out typing doesn’t keep them warm. Looks like I’m going to need to pick up some gloves at souq, then chop the tips to make hobo gloves. I tried laying a blanket over my hands. That works OK, but it feels weird, plus I miss hearing the sounds of the keys. It mostly gets in my way when reaching for the further keys, like the backspace or the HOME or END buttons.

Other observations:

* I can see my breath inside, but only when I exhale really hard. (I first noticed it when I was clearing my throat.)

* My computer is being **really** sluggish. Either I’ve got a Trojan horse or else Dells aren’t optimized for functioning at 44 degrees.

* The power keeps cutting in and out. My cell phone and laptop are plugged in – batteries on both were pretty run down – but they’re plugged into a powerstrip, which I’m hoping will prevent them from getting zapped by the on-again-off-again do [electricity].

PS: When I was living in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the first snowfall of the year was almost invariably 11/11, aka Veterans’ Day. The two times it wasn’t, the snow fell on 11/22 or 11/33, aka December 3rd. My inner math geek loved it. Now that I’m in Morocco, the first unambiguous snowfall has come on 10/10. :D

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