Winter is coming to the Fatherland. The recent solstice reminds us that the days are getting noticeably shorter and darker. It’s greyer. It’s cooler and a little more dreary.
And for other reasons, it will be colder here this year. The price of heat is rising. The war nearby means less or no supply of natural gas. Years ago, they made it a goal to switch from coal to gas by mid-2030. They’d moth-balled numerous coal fired plants. It’s been only in the last 2 months that the German government has taken steps to re-activate some of them.
This hasn’t sat too well with many, as they support the greening of Europe, and indeed, the planet. And so, there is a concerted conservation effort going on. Many people have taken to turning the heat off at home, or at least keeping the temps to a minimum. The Christmas Markets are projected to be dimmer this year. Energy use is being cut wherever it can.
Sweaters and warm weather gear are selling in abundance, too. One more layer, saves a few more Euro
The malls and most public spaces have scaled back lighting to the minimum needed for safety. Building illumination is nil, and halls are darkened by half. Restaurants are open, but dimly (romantically?) lit. Food though remains served. It’s warm and generally delicious. It’s just that the ambience is a bit different. Museum displays are just dim enough to make reading annoying. A lot of info is going to waste.
At lunch with some German colleagues, some were lamenting a proposal to cut back shopping hours to 8AM to 6PM in an effort to conserve energy. Ukraine or not, this seemed like too much for one particular person.
“I don’t have time to plan when I’m going to do my shopping. I need the flexibility”
Another remarked. “We should just get used to the idea of being cold and enjoy it. Putin is a madman and the climate is changing. We’ll all be warmer sooner or later.”
That kind of ruined the meal.
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