Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

All of last week the bora was blowing! It's wind from Siberia that this area is known for, and wow, is it strong. This last week was apparently one of the stronger boras in recent memory, reported at 160 km/h. That's 99 mph. Shutters and roof tiles were blown off of buildings, and even the tar paper from underneath the shingles went flying in some areas. Phone booths are down and a giant shipping crane was blown out to sea. The pictures of the boats trying to pull it back in are pretty amusing.

With all this debris blowing around, simply walking home can be a bit of an adventure. I don't know anyone who was hurt, but the news was saying that at least 90 people were in the hospital. Because of wind. You know those ads for the endless pools, where you just keep swimming without ever getting anywhere? Walking into the bora feels a little like that. Sometimes you just have to stop and hold onto a pole and hope it switches direction soon, even slightly, so you can keep walking.

It's a little like a hurricane, but the wind doesn't blow in a circle, it can go on for days, and there's not necessarily any rain. When there is rain, it's pretty miserable, and an umbrella is completely useless.

Some other things I have learned:
- Those chains on the sidewalk really are to prevent you from flying away/into traffic. And they are useful.
- While Trieste is super-safe as far as crime rates and such, homeowners and car insurance are super high because of the wind.
- With the gusting and rattling the buildings, it's hard to sleep well, and combined with the extra effort it takes to just walk down the street, the whole thing's exhausting.

But now, the wind has stopped. It's super sunny, starting before I get up at 6:30. It's still cold, but I'm starting to believe that spring might actually come, and maybe, someday soon, I can stop wearing my earmuffs (which I had to chase down last week when the wind blew them off.)

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