Ah! Lucky number, 7. It’s been quite a nice day today. It is still windy and snowy. But the good thing is I finally managed to sleep early last night. So, I woke up early this morning. Being able to get 8 hours of sleep and wake up fresh is good. I managed to get some work done. I hung out with my bestie for coffee, moaned about the existential crisis and then ended up going to the city center. I bought some cool stuffs today. I even got ‘The Trial’ by Franz Kafka for almost free 😉 I think I am the only one here who goes to a thrift store and ends up buying books. When I’m there, I look around and see people trying clothes or buying household/decoration stuffs. But I always find everything else uninteresting and I end up going to the farthest corner to browse books.
Day 7: Polar Night Café
It’s been quite difficult dealing with polar nights. I never liked winter in general. In Kathmandu, we have quite sunny winter except for a couple of days of rain towards the end of January and early February. I did not l like the grey cold winter days. I would always be outside basking in the sun, drinking tea and eating oranges. As a matter of fact, everybody is out in the sun during winter there. Despite of that, I went through seasonal depression. So, you can imagine what I am dealing with right now when there is no sun for almost 2 months. Light is rare as well. It’s like just two hours of light and then, it’s dark. So, feeling tired, restless or depressed is kinda natural.
But the student counselling centre at the university has provided this space where we can get some artificial lights. It’s called the Polar Night Café. The café has artificial energy lamps. It’s an interesting place where you can sit in front of artificial energy lamps, get free coffee & cookies and read/work. It’s also a cool place to meet fellow insomniacs and polar night victims. 😉
I have always been a night owl but ever since polar nights started, my sleep cycle has gone completely topsy-turvy. That’s why I decided to go to the café regularly. Surprisingly, I have managed to find some motivation to wake up early. I also managed to make a couple of friends there. I have had some interesting conversation. But I have also offended people by talking about some topics out of their comfort zone.
This morning I met my German friend after ages. Oh! how happy we were to see each other. He even gave me a hug. He is quite a unique human being. Very different from the rest. Imagine this bald guy with tattoo covered arms sitting in front of the energy lamp… knitting. Yes! Knitting!! Talk about breaking the stereotype. We have quite similar music taste (he is also a musician). But the thing I like the most about him is when we talk, he listens like 100%. You can clearly tell that he is really listening to what you are saying patiently. Then, he thinks for a bit and responds slowly. That makes the conversation quite interesting. We even made fun of winter blues. He suggested that I should join the knitting club and start knitting. But I told him this story of how I realized that knitting is not my thing early on when I tried to knit this scarf for my doll. I also said I was happy just writing, reading and listening to music. He is also the only one there who gets my Word play Dis Ease that I got from my boyfriend. We talked about music, life, being a foreigner and dealing with seasonal depression.
University is almost deserted now. It’s snowing day and night. Not much is happening in the city. It’s too cold to go out anyways. When you are alone, quite homesick and on top of that, no light exists in your life, you can’t help but be a bit depressed. It’s not just psychological, this effect of polar nights. I can actually feel the weight of darkness weighing me down. It feels like I am carrying a big burden on my head…palms sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, There’s vomit on his sweater already: mom’s spaghetti (Reminds me of Eminem all of a sudden!) I’m trying to adapt to it even though it’s difficult. Being with friends helps too. It’s funny how you bond with people over common anxiety and find solace knowing the fact that you are not alone. Nevertheless, I realized today how grateful I am for this polar night café. It brings a bit of joyous light in my otherwise dark mundane life. 😀