Friday, July 8, 2011


Every year, the weather in Karlovy Vary is completely unpredictable. The temperature can drop -- or rise -- about 40 degrees over the course of the week, and sometimes in the course of the afternoon.

A few days ago I dashed outside for some fresh air on my lunch break, and was delighted to see that it was sunny. Sunshine! On me! So exciting! I indulged myself for 20 minutes before reluctantly returning to the closet. It is worth noting that the closet is located in a room without windows, which is located in a hall without windows, beyond which are more rooms -- which do have windows, but tend to keep their doors shut. So you have to walk a good two or three minutes to so much as see a window once you get to the office.

Which is why I was so surprised when a colleague came in 15 minutes later and said, "You just missed the most fantastic thunderstorm." Evidently the heavens clouded over mere minutes after I left my perch, pelting festgoers with heavy rain. By the time he made it back to the hotel, it had already cleared up.

I'm not positive, but I think this is what lives in our office when we're not there...
Last night I left around midnight (it was a rough day) and got as far as the entrance before I realized it was pouring. And not just pouring, but storming -- the good kind, with really dramatic streaks of lightning ripping up the sky. I decided to take the long way home, and swung by one of the colonnades that houses the hot springs here. I was pretty much soaked by that point, so I ducked in and stared out at the rain and the lightning. It had a very Sound of Music sort of feel.

My editor yesterday said of the festival, "It's like childbirth, you know? It's painful at the time, but then you finish and forget and a year later you're ready to come back." And I knew exactly what he meant. Because I've been locked in a closet for about 15 hours a day for over a week now, but I get outside for a few minutes of sunshine, or to sit in the rain and watch a storm roll over the valley, and I just love it. Maybe it's the oxygen-deprivation talking, but I really do love it here.

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