Snow has fallen large on the Slovenian countryside, causing power outages and failing internet. On day one of this technological interrupt, everyone's internet was down regardless of supplier, as were the bank machines, public payphones and my cell phone. Bohinjska Bistrica wasn't talking to the rest of the world.
By the way, I think we now know each other well enough for me to let you in on a secret. The J in Bohinjska is silent, and the C in Bistrica is pronounced like the zz in pizza. It's pronounced Bohinska Bistritsa.
Having got that awkwardness out of the way, I shall tell you that the power went off with a kind of strange indecision, often flickering, sometimes going off for ten minutes then coming back on again for ten and going off again. I'm sure the lights coming from my window made it look like I was signalling someone or pretending to be a lighthouse. The internet was more determined, however. It went off in long, steadfast chunks.
The lack of power or entertainment allowed me to sit in the flicker of the firelight, thinking, as I imagine neolithic types used to think, about life and its complexities. The 150 cable channels have dulled my wits and it was nice to have nothing to do but ponder. I thought about Sarah and how I'm adjusting to not having her around, and I thought about my new life compared to the old one. Actually, 'the old one' doesn't make much sense because having lived in England, Greece and France before moving to America, I have several old ones, each one subtly different. But one thing that has dogged me all my life is remarkable ability to stagnate. Given the opportunity I will muse on all the things I could be doing and not actually do any of them. I will sit here till spring wondering how much fun I could have had in the snow.
After this dramatic realisation, this morning I walked Tyson toward Alinka's ski hut. Alinka and Andre have a ski-hire and teaching business, and it was Andre who took us out on that little bit of cross-country skiing. It was Alinka who read through the contract on my apartment and told me it didn't contain any sneaky traps. They are good people.
I went to ask Alinka about skiing. I realised during my neolithic stint that I only went skiing that one time because someone else organised it and it was easy to say yes. Since that day I've spoken of how enjoyable it was and done nothing to further my desire to slide uncontrollably down a hill. It was time to take charge.
After an hour of chit-chat and schnapps I had bought some second hand downhill ski boots, some skis and some poles for the wonderful price of 65 euros. I thought that buying some second hand stuff would cause me to actually go skiing, rather than promising to come back some day and hire some. I collect them on Friday after she has tweaked things and I actually have 65 euros on me. Then it's a trip to Vogel, where Andre is almost permanently camped out teaching people. I will have some lessons on the beginner slope and then become one of the beautiful people.
Slovenia, writing, other things