Written by Kemi
Art by Coco
My most glamorous friend once stated “Babe, I don’t do winters. I follow the sun.” I was on my deathbed, trying to survive a flu from hell when she dropped that totally useless piece of information but every winter since I’ve asked myself: Why don’t I follow the sun? Why am I incapable of figuring out how to swerve this pointless season altogether?
Let’s face it, winter is a horrendous time. Being able to wear jumpers and going for walks in the crisp subzero temperatures does absolutely nothing for my wellbeing, and don’t even get me started on winter sports. There are, however, a few things that can make this godawful season somewhat bearable
REAL Berliners love winters because it’s a great opportunity to let everyone know how hardcore they are. I’m talking about the Berliners who were born here or who have spent 10+ years in this city and have therefore earned the right to claim that they’re the real deal. When any newcomers/posers (often the same thing) dare to moan about the constant darkness and Arctic temperature, real deal Berliners will laugh hysterically (you’ve just made their day) and then, with a face dripping with contempt, they’ll assure you that you’ve seen nothing yet. The worst is still to come. Russian winds and all. And then they’ll let you know, condescendingly, that you, unworthy wimp that you are, are actually pretty lucky because winters have become incredibly mild. A joke basically. While they’re talking to you, you imagine what life without your toes will be like, as you lost any feeling in them weeks ago. But you keep quiet, because you’re afraid they might spit on you in disgust if you dare to say one more thing.
What’s great about all this is that you too can become this authentic Berlin person. Just a couple more winters, just a few toes less and then you can be the one who gets kicks out of telling newcomers to either suck it up or stop annoying you with their presence. And when you put it that way, there’s an awful lot to look forward to.
Ideally, this mission has already been checked off in September. What’s important is that, no matter how desperate you are to get cosy, you don’t snuggle up to the first available winter blanket. Trust me, it’s never a good idea. Bookmark it and shop around instead.
The rules are dead simple: #1 Make sure you and your blanket are on the same page. #2 Your blanket has to be a high-quality, zero stress one: always texting back, happy to give you massages after a long day in the office and always in the mood for making sweet love to you. You don’t want a blanket that spends every weekend in clubs and then shows up dirty, reeking of alcohol and cigarettes and with mysterious stains all over. That’s NOT a good winter blanket! The better the blanket, the higher the chances of it still being around come spring — but #3 never ever count on it turning into an ongoing thing because, after all, it’s a seasonal arrangement
Now that your banging body will be hidden under layers and layers of fabric, you might as well add some extra insulation to stay warm. The added benefit is that it keeps the heating bills low, which is good for the environment. All these extra meals (especially when they’re organic) are basically your contribution to stopping climate change and saving the planet, you wonderful, selfless human being!
If your job negotiations didn’t include discussing flexible work arrangements you’re a fool! But don’t worry, you’re not alone. Come winter, “working” remotely or at least “working” from home is everyone’s dream and annoyingly, we all know people who are already living their nauseatingly envy-inducing dream lives. We’re happy for you, but also, maybe… not? Anyway, these jobs are definitely out there, but there are downsides too: You won’t get to see, hear and smell your coworkers for 40+ hours per week, and you’ll have to get through the day somehow without drinking the best coffee in town, playing ping pong or chilling on those über cool bean bag chairs (courtesy of your super edgy workplace), so think this important lifestyle change through before making this sacrifice.
Finally get shit done or, failing that, get nothing done at all
Winter is so boring that you might actually stand a chance of getting shit done. Shit you should’ve done in summer when you were busy having an epic time doing things you can’t remember now. Time to finally sort out your documents, bills, finish that project or pick up a post-ironic hobby. In short, be productive. If that doesn’t sound like you then fuck it, be that grubby winter blanket, get messy weekend after weekend — and don’t let anyone shame you for it.
Frenetic holiday planning
Everyone has a different definition of fun and pain. Some people have a jolly good time when they see their loved ones during the winter holidays. Others aren’t massively into shelling out (financially or mentally) for an underwhelming family reunion that usually opens with someone saying “You’ve gained weight” followed by “Are you pregnant?” followed by a long speech about your waning fertility.
If that’s not what you consider as having a great time, then use the money you’re saving on not having procreated and splash it all out on a ridiculously overpriced trip abroad. It’s not like you’re going to enter the housing market anytime soon anyway, so you might as well shorten winter by going on a holiday with people who are actually fun to be around with — and then return to the city with a big smile on your bronzed face because spring is finally within reach.