Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our unwitting move to Seattle and jaywalking

Before we came Indya and I spent a lot of time reading about Ljubljana and Slovenia, trying to figure out the good and the bad news about our potential new home.  Nowhere do I remember reading that it is cold and rainy almost every day, and yet that has been our experience since September began.  Don't believe me?  This is the weather prediction on my phone from last night:

Keeping hope alive for next Monday!  Woo hoo sun! 

Our Slovenian friends claim this weather is very unusual and that we are due for a late summer warm spell any day now.  I'll believe it if I see it.  Georgia captured it nicely when she said "I didn't know we were moving to Seattle, Dad."  I had to remind her that the weather in Seattle in September is actually very nice, the rain starts closer to October.  That cheered her right up. 

But at least Dahlia, Georgia, and Indya have been driving together to school.  Because I wanted to be a real European I'm biking to and from work every day.  On dry days it is a super fun 10 minute ride.  The bike lanes are well marked and mostly separated from the cars and a stretch of my ride even goes through the gorgeous Tivoli Park.  Ljubljana is in the foothills of the Alps, but unlike Knoxville, it is super flat and extremely bike friendly.  Except for when it rains incessantly.  Then my brakes hardly work and I arrive at work all bedraggled, sad, and wet.

Which leads us to jaywalking.  As Indya pointed out earlier, jaywalking is super unusual here.  The same goes for bike riders.  Bikers will sit patiently facing a "don't walk" sign even if there is not a car in sight.  This includes everyone from bike messengers to old ladies.  Two days ago I waited patiently next to a guy on a bike with a mohawk and a "F*** Authority" jacket with the anarchy sign on it. 

I grew up in New York City, so I find this behavior hard to understand and excruciating to imitate.  I had been doing ok until the rain broke my spirit.  Sitting on a bike in a slow, grinding rain, getting soaked before work while watching an empty roadway is apparently beyond my powers of self-control.  And when the levy finally broke and I crossed an empty street in the rain it was a sweet, sweet relief.  Anarchy from the USA y'all. 


  1. Love this, Ben!!! I think, though, your Real Concern here should be that someone in authority in NYC might read this and declare you a Disgrace to The Homeland for not immediately going against lights, crossings, and sissy attempts to be thoughtful. In that case, it will take more than a Passport to let you into your hometown again. NYorkers tend to pounce on the Wussy among them. Go Anarchist!!!! Your mom....worried in NYC that you might change in That Foreign Country to become a law-abiding, polite, caring citizen!!!! On second thought: NAW!!!! not possible!

  2. Are you sure you aren't in Copenhagen? You are describing Copenhagen biking to a T. There's even a Tivoli. Hmmm...and it's wet and soggy there too. You may want to invest in some rain pants for the true experience. Still it all sounds pretty damn amazing and fun. Dragon bridge and pretty views. Jealous in Knoxville!!!