Even before I decided to study at DMU and live in Leicester, I was vaguely aware of the similarities and differences between England and my homeland. Both have a similar, flat landscape, a lot of greenery (although the amount of parks in the UK concerned me for a while) and water. The biggest difference was the weather, which turned almost into a culture in my foreign head.
To simply describe British weather, I would have to say it is somewhat akin to a newborn child: very unpredictable. One second it can be sunny, quite nice and warm; and the next, the sky can be covered in a thick layer of clouds and you are drenched to the bone with rain in the blink of an eye. No wonder I have a dislike for children.
However, the sun and rain battle was not what caught my attention, it was the cold season: Winter. To me, someone from North-Eastern Europe, winter can be anywhere from a zero to a minus thirty degree weather; lots of snow, ice and general cold despair. England on the other hand, well, my attention turned to interest, which later on turned into unbearable, giddy hilarity. I will put it out here right now: It is absolutely hilarious to watch England deal (or not deal with it, to be more accurate) with snow, yet at the same time, slightly concerning.
The first time I had the pleasure to witness people panic over snow happened during my first university year back in 2012. Back then, Leicester was struck with one of the worst winters in years and I had the front row ticket to watch the carnage (or snowage). People and cars were sliding about the snowy roads, traffic was jammed, and students would call cabs to spare them the 5 minute walk from campus to dorm.
During these three years of my stay, there was no other winter like the first one, but surprisingly, people around me (mainly the British) have no idea how to protect their own streets as well as themselves from the cold, especially my fellow university students.
Your health is at risk in the cold. This is not me trying to be a know-it-all. Cold weather is the main thing that can you get sick during winter, obviously. So just like during summer, where we try to wear as less as a means to keep cool, winter means we have to wear more to keep warm.
This goes especially towards the young club-goers who are more concerned about if they look attractive enough while shivering instead of wearing coats. I had never ever seen a flock of girls stand around with skimpy dresses, shouting drunkenly into their phones that it’s cold, until I came to England. Am I the only one who sees one huge flaw here?
A fever is right around the corner, along with cough and a sore throat. That is not a sexy look. Put a coat on; you will look nicer without sporting a bright red nose like Rudolph. But who am I to judge?
I have been told that “we the British are incredibly stubborn folk” and thus all I am left with is to spread the word of the ‘please, don’t freeze your face off, you might need it’ mentality, and to tell scary stories that I have seen happen to people during winter. It is definitely not summer yet. I have already got one person to wear a scarf. One at a time, one at a time.
Alas, “It’s bloody freezing!” said the girl in a mini skirt and some dolly shoes, who got a nod from the lad with a light jacket, unzipped. Same old, same old. At least someone is entertained.