18 February 2013


It has been a lot warmer lately. The sun comes out with the birds around eight and they wake me up around nine if I'm still in bed. Riding down the hill into city center doesn't stiffen your ears to the point of stinging and walking back late at night doesn't sound like an awful idea.

This also means that we are once again arriving places not just windswept, but also hot and sweaty. While that would be embarrassing and socially unacceptable in the areas of the United States that I have lived, it opens up one of the biggest differences between this community and those other places that I have lived.

Physical beauty is looked at differently. It's not about having a perfect presentation of yourself as an ensemble made of flawless makeup and every hair in line. Such things are impossible when you're riding a bike everywhere. So, with nearly everyone riding bikes, frizzed hair and thin makeup are overlooked. If it's raining, it is perfectly acceptable for you to appear in someone's home or office looking like you've been drowned. The emphasis suddenly switches to you being present at all. It is the fact that you were willing to brave whatever weather to join them that these people esteem, and that is honourable.*



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