When the sun comes out, as it has done today, Germans everywhere sprint to the nearest cafe with outdoor seating – the chairs would have been hurriedly dragged outside at the first beam of sun, for this very onslaught – and order ice cream. And beer. But mostly ice cream, they’re mad for it. And they sit, in their scarves and jackets, faces tipped to the sun, sucking in their first dose of vitamin D in six months.
So, today, when I woke up and saw the type of clean, white light peculiar to clear skies and its playmate, the sun, I knew. I knew we had to put on our glad rags – I tried for a frock, but it wasn’t that warm – and hit the town. So we did. And we did it with the sun on our backs and a spring in our step. Just like all the other like minded Weidenites. It was, in a word, glorious. The level of sheer happiness that floods one’s being at the tail end of a European winter is incomparable. It is relief, mingled with dopamine, a heady, potent, head spinning cocktail. It is as if you have spent six months preparing for the end of the world and then just when you think it is all about to end, all about to implode around you, someone says, ‘guess what! The world isn’t ending! And you’re moving to Jamaica, with $50 million, and you never have to work again!’ Imagine that feeling. Imagine it. That is what it is like, when the European winter finally ends. Except maybe better.
In the town centre, we found a cafe had suddenly appeared within the old Rathaus and not only did it have chairs in the sun, it was serving icecream. SG turned to me. ‘Shall we? Shall we have an eis?’ Ridiculous question. Shoving an icecream down my gullet, whilst sitting in the sun, was precisely what I wanted to do.
So we did. And it was delicious. I think I even got a tan.