I know it’s pretty sacrilege to think this way in Israel – but enough with the rain already. The downpours, the muddy puddles, the sidewalk slip-and-slides. I’m so happy to see some sun today (though I probably should take a break from working and leave my apartment to enjoy it).
Honestly, I have no right to complain about our four-day stretch of rainy weather, as the northeast US continues to experience blizzard-like "thundersnow" that I am somehow avoiding over here. But just because we don’t have snow doesn’t mean we automatically escape the gloom of winter. And I cannot wait for spring.
In the winter months, Jerusalem seems to hover around a chilly 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) – and I say chilly because most of the residential buildings are built out of stone, which is ideal for keeping cool in the summer, but absorbs absolutely no heat at all in the winter. Plus, the apartments are quite old and tend to not have central heating systems, so almost everyone needs to purchase a space heater – which can only do so much at nighttime.
With gray skies, whether you’re in New York or the Holy Land, seems to come seasonal affective disorder, which I certainly see painted on the faces of Jerusalemites in general (though maybe that’s because they fear the end of the Middle East with revolutions abound in our neck of the woods) and among my friends (though maybe that’s because most of them are currently in exam period at the universities).
Of course, the deluge of rain we experienced this past week was quite necessary, as Israel seems to experience a perpetual drought, but when we do get such heavy rains, the country – or at least, this city – seems to have no effective method of dealing with it. The streets have no gutters, hardly any manholes and very few sewers, so during a storm, the city seems to transform into a wave pool. You’d think that a place that places such value on water conservation would actually have a sound method of collecting said water during the rare stretches that it showers us. It seems like a waste for it to just float around the streets in pools until the sun comes out – I hope that this serious drainage problem is only in Jerusalem and not in the rest of the country.
I can’t decide which is more of a treat – splashing through ankle-deep puddles along Jerusalem’s central Yaffo Street, or tumbling down slushy mud-ice into the stairwells of the New York City subway.
Either way, I say it’s time for winter to be over. Not that it’s up to me of course.