With spring rapidly approaching, I fear I shall be doing battle with the greatest adversaries of the unsuspecting exchange student, ice and giant puddles of slush.
For a northern country, the Estonians do a remarkable job of keeping the roads clear of snow and ice. The same sadly cannot be said about the sidewalks. Each journey out of Raatuse is an adventure, having to pick your way around the big puddles, the known icy patches and mothers pulling small children in little plastic sleds that are abundant on the way to class, to the grocery store, to the popular student haunts, etc.
Despite my best efforts, particularly during a warm spell in January and one in early February, I have fallen prey to the ice several times, luckily avoiding the giant puddles of slush (though I can feel it coming) though there have been far too many close calls to count.
When falling, there are two ways to go about it. First, you can fall, get up quickly and sort of run away in hopes no one saw you, the path exchange students are apt to take. Alternatively, you can accept that it is inevitable and upon falling, quietly mutter to yourself about how annoying the ice is but just move on, as it happens to everyone, therefore no one cares.
Thankfully, there is still time before this battle begins, though I fear no amount of training (not really sure how to train for it but… meh) will allow me to successfully navigate the streets of Tartu unscathed this spring.