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It's much easier to be austere when the weather is not so cold!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2004

Kolkata, India

Cold Showers

On not-so-cold mornings

It is the middle of February, so the weather is already starting to get a lot warmer. I turned on the big overhead fan in my room today for the first time since I got back from the Ukraine and Russia a month ago.

Of course, after the frigid, sub-zero temperatures of Odessa, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, even 0°C seems warm to me. For instance, the temperature in Moscow today ranged between -22°C and -14°C (-8°F and 7°F); contrast that with the low/high temperature of 15°C and 27°C (59°F and 80°F) recorded in Kolkata today.

But even before the sun comes up I can tell that the weather is getting warmer: when I take a cold shower in the tiny bathroom at 4:00 a.m., before mangala arati (morning service), the water coming out of the pipes (which are connected through the plumbing to a big metal storage tank on the roof) is a lot warmer than the gasping shock of water that used to jolt me awake just a few short weeks ago.

It's much easier to be austere when the weather is not so cold! Needless to say, I wasn't taking any cold showers in Russia last winter...

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Layout by imonk — February 18th, 2004.