Nos hivers sont vos étés

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You know the feeling when you’re camping and the ground beneath your tent isn’t quite flat?  And you feel like you and your sleeping bag are slowing sliding down the slope, and by the time you wake up, everyone has inevitably formed a pile at the bottom?   Or when you’re playing put-put and the hole is at the top of a slope and no matter how hard you hit it, it’s always much steeper than you anticipate and the ball rolls right back to your feet?

I have come to the conclusion that living on Réunion is something like these sensations.

Last Friday, my housemate drove me up to Saint Paul about a third of the way around the island going clockwise, which, on the coastal highway, is more like making an extremely long right hand turn.  Anways, during the drive, the geography of the island finally hit me.  With enormous mountains in the center of the island, it’s nothing but one big, long slope all the way down to the coast.  And there’s this wierd disequilibrium about living on a slope that I hadn’t really picked up on.  Everything is always tilted downward, downward towards the sea.  It’s as if you’re constantly fighting the force of gravity to stay where you are, like you have to lean into it or hold on tighter to the railing.  And like the slanted put-put hole, I feel like I’m never going to make it up the hill on my bike to teach at my highest school.  But once the bell rings and it’s time to leave, I come screaming down the mountain and end up right where I started, practically without turning a pedal.  Repatriating to the flattest place in the world (central IN)  might be overwhelmingly destabilizing once I’m used to the slanted life.

At least I don’t feel upside down, which I totally am, being in the southern hemisphere (see paréo below Im using as a curtain in my room).  That would be a lot more problematic.

Nos hivers sont vos étés = Our winters are your summers / Nos étés sont vos hivers = Our summers are your winters

3 Comments

Filed under Hmmm that's odd

3 responses to “Nos hivers sont vos étés

  1. Uncle Eric

    Nathan — I’ve been spying your blog since you left and absolutely love your writing. You have wonderful insights into so many things and the discussion about living on a slope today was no exception. Living here in flat Illinois we often have the overwhelming feeling of … well … flatness. I guess the bright side of flat places like IL and IN is that it’s not an uphill climb to go other places — literally or figuratively!

    It sounds like you’re enjoying your time in the pirate infested waters and you’re certainly making the best of the opportunity. Your mom and dad are keeping us informed of some of you adventures and future plans. We pray that all continues to go well. I hope you’re able to find a turkey to eat next week while those of us standing right-side-up are celebrating Thanksgiving!

    Take care!!

    • Yo Unlce Eric! Thanks for reading! Speaking of pirate infested waters, there are so many sailing opportunities here. Im doing a small translation job for a guy who spent 15 years on a boat! I’ve also met a girl from Milwaukee whose parents havea boat on Lake Michigan. I wonder if you would ever be in the same regatta??

  2. Craig Gigax

    I love reading this stuff and also seeing your photos on Facebook. I had no idea that you were a picker until your father gave me the lowdown last night. Keep up the good work.

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