It’s not often a new language throws a gift at you: wind is one of them. It’s the same word in German as in English, and one which is easily pronounced: vint.
I’ve been struggling with pronunciation in my on-again, off-again efforts to learn German. For some reason I assumed it would be fairly easy (famous last words, aka story of my life). Seriously, I never understood what people meant when they said German was ‘guttural’. I always found the language nice and easy on the ear. What I didn’t realize was just how hard it would be to get the ‘ch’ sounds out of the back of my throat. At least without sounding like I’m choking. Ich probiere (I’m trying) but it’s a work in progress.
So along comes ‘wind’. Which, like weather (‘wetter’) is easy enough for an English native. And how der wind does blow around here!
I’ve posted before about the winds when we lived on the French side of Lake Geneva. They can be nasty but also nice.
It seems we’ve done it again — moved to a place that’s just as windy. It’s complicated around here by the looming mountains, and the corridors of lakes in between, around and through which various winds whistle their merry way.
Last week we had a sudden rise in temperatures, from 12 to 25 Celsius in the space of the weekend. Unfortunately this came courtesy of the Foehn, which means ‘hairdryer’ in German. Now this wind is known all over the Alpine region as a hot blast of air that dries everything in its path. Do not be misled: there’s nothing ‘fun’ about it.
Except that around here the wind whips up the lake into such a frenzy that it is quite something to watch. From our apartment we could see the dramatic whitecaps and on Sunday afternoon I found myself going out for a walk to see it up close. And quite a spectacle it was.
There were crashing waves, screeching seabirds and a few brave souls looking ready for lift off. There were little clouds of mist blowing across the water that my phone camera couldn’t capture. The whole thing made me feel like a kid again, when I used to believe that if I ran and jumped high enough, I might just take off.
Sadly I remained grounded.
And the next day, as is its wont, the nasty Foehn brought clouds and rain that lasted all week. Now we need a good cold ‘bise’ to sweep them away.
I suppose I like the wind as it keeps things from getting too dull. Here in conflict-free Switzerland, the wind is refreshing as it stirs things up. In France, it always felt like yet another drama.
How about you: wind or calm?
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