The wonderfully long summer in Germany was followed by a mild autumn that was too good to be true, but as the old adage goes: all good things come to an end. The past weekend ushered in the Nordic winter winds that I dread so much, and it drives me up the wall to see Berliners so happy about it. Let me be a tropical Southeast Asian Grinch! 

The lighter jackets and trench coats have been replaced by the thick down overcoats, thermals, gloves, hats, scarves, all topped with a staunch determination to make it through rain, sleet or snow in one piece.
I hate winter.
But I will admit that there is nothing quite like walking through the cold dark night to really mull things over. The absence of distractions allow my thoughts turn inevitably towards whatever is weighing heavily on my mind, such as the roles people play in each others lives. 

Have you ever considered classifying people coats, hats and gloves? Well, I did, and came up with this: 

Hats: the hat people are not friends. They are what I call Tupperware acquaintances that make you look good, belong outdoors, can give you a false sense of security against the elements for the briefest moments, but as soon as you need to be serious, true to yourself and undertake a formal conversation, you take the hat off and fix your hair back into place. 

Gloves: I for one keep losing gloves, don’t even bother with mittens, and feel trapped after a few minutes of wearing them. The gloves people try to help or teach, but their presence is seasonal and very specific. You may or may not learn the lesson, and sometimes you never realise what it is you are suppose to learn until you lose them. These are the classmates or former colleagues you forgot to keep in touch with, the teachers you probably should have written to thank for the valuable insights within the hallowed halls of the academia, or the supervisor who taught you how to use the wrench the right way. 

Coats: these are my soul siblings. I never leave home without them. I can do without a hat and gloves, but never without a coat that provides the warmth for my aching and shivering soul. The colder the weather the thicker the coat, – the harder the times, the tighter the embrace of love and friendship.