November 10, 2008
November, The Ninth Month.
This morning I woke up to one of those Scandinavian autumn mornings I truly dislike with all my heart and soul; pitch dark, cold, rainy and VERY windy. Windy is actually not the correct word. STORMY would be more appropriate. It was one of those Mondays when all I wanted to do was to press the snooze button on my alarm and go back to sleep. It was inhuman to be dragged out of bed in the middle of the night. I contemplated for a while why people living this far up north are not allowed to go into hibernation. Furthermore I was trying come up with reasons why not to call in sick today.
This weekend I was pondering over the month of November. The name November comes from the Latin Novem, meaning nine. So actually, this is the ninth month in the original Roman Calender. In another languages, which did not adapted the Latin naming, November has other meanings. For example, in old Danish, it was called "Slagtemåned", which means "Slaughter month", most likely due to the fact, that people would be slaughtering pigs, getting ready for the winter. In Czech, November is called "Listopad", meaning in translation, "The falling of the leaves month".
In any case, November is a bit dreadful, but then again, it is also a month full of the anticipation of the Christmas Holidays. It is also the month, when here in Scandinavia, people light the candles, eat delicious, but heavy food and tend to stay indoors, creating a cosy atmosphere.
After living here for a very long time, I still have not adapted to the weather, particularly the autumn and the winter. But talking to Scandinavians, born and raised here, very few of them find this weather pleasing. Except for the wind. I have met people that love the wind. And perhaps they do so for a reason. Many of my foreign visitors have noticed the incredible quality of the air we have here. Indeed, the wind moves the air around and changes it constantly, making it clean and fresh at all times of the year.