Well, it's been over a month since my last post... Two weeks of that were spent at home, enjoying Christmas, and well, since I have come back over here I haven't done much; the seemingly inconvenient and unimportant fact that I was actually meant to be over here to study finally dawned on me. Writing essays has become a somewhat haphazard and quite frankly terrifying experience - it has been well over a year now since I've last had to put virtual pen to virtual paper.
Enough of 'shop talk' however; the most important thing that has happened in Geneva is that it finally started snowing!
Geneva looks good in the snow - you have the feeling that is donning a white cloak that it inevitably wears as some point every year, and has learned to wear it with style. The vast amount of trees, invisible for the rest of the winter thanks to their lack of leaves, suddenly stand out proudly, wearing their snowy attire with pride. In Limerick, snow turns the city into a giddy but awkward child - unsure of itself. Geneva wraps its new-found clothes around itself, shrugs confidently, and keeps on walking.
The snow came slowly at first, barely noticeable specks in the increasingly frigid air. Then, gradually, a flurry! Large, thick snowflakes, that could be grasped in the hand without instantly melting. The air was heavy and visibility receded, and within a matter of hours Geneva was covered in a foot-deep blanket of the stuff. It didn't last long, but was apparently enough.
The city and its citizens are well prepared for this kind of weather - nothing stops functioning, although cars, buses and people alike move that bit slower and more carefully - unsure on their feet as the snow is trampled into ice, especially on more travelled routes. But besides the buses being slightly slower and busier than usual, life goes on as normal.
Sad as it is, when the snow started falling in earnest, as could feel myself getting giddy and my heart beat a little bit faster for a moment. Coming from Ireland, where snow, even the tiniest amounts, is these days, and since I can remember really, a once a year event - if even that. I had to resist the urge to rise from my desk, where I was desperately trying to get essays written, and dashing downstairs to trample around in the snow with an excited smile on my face.
I apparently wasn't the only one excited; after all, the building has people from all over the world - many from places (perhaps even the majority) that don't even get a short glimpse of snow every year like in Ireland. At about midnight on the night of the major snowfall, we met downstairs outside the building for a hastily arranged snowball fight - the most important event for anybody excited by snow. Maybe it's a way to vent all our violent tendencies! Two hours later, the valiant but outnumbered Irish beat a hasty retreat, defeated by the experienced Germans, who had vast superiority in numbers (that's how I remembered it, anyway...) Elated but soaked, we lived to fight another day. My right arm is still stiff!
It's just a pity it took so long for the snow to arrive, and it may go as quickly as it came - if the forecast is to be believed. I have never really payed much attention to the issue of global warming, but on a very personal level, I think that the dissapearence of snow - which is probably going to happen in Ireland and maybe even eventually in Switzerland - would make life just that little bit less enjoyable. Long live snowy winters.