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I’d felt a version of that difference when I moved north from California to Oregon, from a place where people can be outside almost all year long to a place where there’s truly a winter, and for three months it’s time to stay inside.
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Germany is another level entirely. When we first visited in April, the chestnut trees were coming into bloom, and there were already more hours of light than in Oregon. It was often quite cold and wet, but that didn’t stop people from being outside whenever possible. The café chairs that were tucked away for the winter were once again set up in the sun or the pouring rain. And they were occupied whenever there was a break from actual precipitation: café staff were constantly wiping them off. None of this “waiting until it warms up” for the Europeans: an hour without driving winds or snow or sleet is an hour to enjoy the weather, and what better way to do so (after one’s walk) than to have kaffee and kuchen (coffee and cake).
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