I am not a gilet jaune

Some things make me feel old. Like preferring to cook rather than getting take-out. Or ordering young children on a subway platform to step away from the edge. (Both happened in the last 24 hours.) And something that also makes me feel old is my entirely changed perception of visibility and temperature.

No, I don’t mean I need glasses. (I would like them though as I’ve seen them as a great fashion accessoire since I was 5.) I mean I have become this old lady who is super concerned with safety and not getting a cold.

I never leave the house without a yellow vest anymore. As soon as it gets dim outside and I bike somewhere, I dress in a screaming warning signal. Does it look bad? Yes. Is it a hassle? Kind of. Would I like to actually wear it even when just walking on the sidewalk? Ehm, yeah.

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The other day someone asked me if I worked for the city, on the construction team.

When I was young, I biked without lights, dressed entirely in black coats. Today, I am surprised I made it past 30 with  this please-run-me-over-attitude! Winter has never seemed this dark to me before. My perception of what’s visible on the street has changed dramatically. And I don’t even know why.

But simultaneously with my fear of not being seen, my idea of what is cold has completely changed, too. I used to live in Sweden. We had temperatures below zero for months. Early in the year, at least for one weekend, we would usually get to -25 degrees Celsius. I wore tights then. And I don’t mean thermo tights. Regular tights! Today, it’s 2 degree and I wear: a long-sleeve shirt, a sweater, a wool cardigan, two scarves, a wool winter coat, gloves, a hat, thermo tights, a wool skirt and wool socks. And I am freezing. Do I have to bring my snow pants from Sweden and start strolling across the Dizzel Christmas Market?

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My friend Hanna and I in Uppsala, Sweden. I am wearing tights, kissing an ice statue.

Last week, two pedestrians saw me and called, “There they are, the yellow vests!” I of course replied from my bike that I do not want to be associated with people smashing the Arc de Triomphe. Maybe I need to get an orange vest now.