Thursday, January 24, 2013

More Sickness, More Snow

from Pete on one of his lunchtime walks
The three main pieces of news right now are: 1) We just crossed the 8-months-living-in-Lux mark, 2) Luxembourg has been covered with snow for the past couple of weeks but it sort of feels like forever, and 3) our family can't seem to all stay healthy at the same time.

D in the backyard on a healthy day
Okay, so the sickness thing is actually old news, but that's only because between the four of us we've been sick for about two months straight with only a few days reprieve here and there.  We're just not accustomed to European germs, so we immediately catch whatever we're exposed to.  I admit that despite all my pre-move research, this is not a part of the expat/immigrant life that really occurred to me until we arrived here.  Or perhaps I read about it, but subconsciously discounted it because I figured we were moving somewhere "clean and posh and safe."  It's been quite discouraging, as up until moving here we'd managed to stay a relatively healthy bunch.  Yet I'm also extremely thankful that in the grand scheme, we're all actually very healthy and not suffering from anything life-threatening!  It's just a general bummer/first-world-problem.

(On a related note, I'd really like to punch the next person who tells me it must be the cold weather that's making us sick--as in, the cold is doing it directly, rather than it just keeping people together inside to spread germs.  I'm sorry, but this is not scientifically sound.  It seems to be a popular opinion here--that old-school "put your coat on or you'll catch a cold!" mentality.  But anyway...)

I've heard that typically Luxembourg snow sticks around a day or two and then melts (a bit like in Portland), and that this particular round of snow is an exception.  If I remember correctly, we had several inches of snow over one or two days, but then weather ended up staying well-below-freezing for a couple of weeks.  We've had a few light dustings since then, but it's really just lingering from the main storm.
partially frozen lake at Parc Merl
just some cool-looking icicles
Although the city does a fairly good job of plowing and salting, road conditions have been treacherous.  These are times when it's quite satisfying to be non-car-dependent.  We can get to work, school, and the grocery store on foot, so this covers all our basic needs.  We'd much rather walk in the snow than drive in it, and of course it's pretty.
from Pete's walk to work
As far as I know, the local schools have not had any delays or cancelations--probably because they are neighborhood schools and everyone could walk if necessary (but I'm not sure about the teachers - I think they'd just corral a couple classes together for a bit if someone was late).  I don't know the situation for the international schools, where people drive in from all over the country.
D at the school playground
This does mean suiting up the kids in full snow gear every day for their walks to and from school.  And we learned the hard way that you never know when the pre-primary kids might spend an hour or two outside in the snow, or when your first grader might decide to lie down and make a snow angel at recess.  These are odd, petty little adjustments we must make, but you have to remember that this is all quite new to us because in Portland, even a little snow=no school.  We've also learned the hard way that walks to and from school are hit and miss; sometimes the kids are chipper and motivated and make in under 10 minutes.  Other times they are cold or tired or crying or even just stopping to kick/touch/poke every snow-covered thing along the way, and it takes more like 30 minutes.  Either way, this daily routine is getting old, and we're ready to move on to above-freezing temperatures.  However, the forecast indicates we could be doing this for several more days.
stopping to wait while they poke something. again.
at least it was cuteness and not crying that day


Anonymous said...

If it makes it any better - it's terrible in Britain! Most of the U.S. has been hit pretty badly as well. We are fortunate (for now) in Orygun....

My Mid-Afternoon Daydream said...

Hello! We moved to Aachen, Germany, from N. California 10 months ago. The first couple of months we were fine then my older child (4.5) started kinder and we were sick constantly. Really sick. A new German friend told me about different supplements & homeopathic remedies and after some research and trying different things we have been remarkably better thus far (not sick since late December). It's so hard trying to make progress setting roots in a new country, not knowing the language, etc., and then being exhausted and unmotivated on top of things. I wish you better health soon!! I've enjoyed reading your blog :o) Best wishes, Devon

Sam said...

I so hear you on the germs thing. Same as us, since November...and I mean CONSTANTLY sick with vomiting/diarhhea but looking better now (touch wood). And glad i'm not the only one who wants to strangle people who say 'it's the cold weather' making us sick!! No you morons, it's a VIRUS!