As the winter draws on, my summer car hibernates in the Tiefgarage, and I criss-cross the laces on my trekking boots to prepare for going to work. The Bahnhof is only a couple of minutes from my flat, but from the Strassenbahnhaltestelle I have a twenty minute walk to the office, along little used village streets like skating rinks. The tram is crowded because the one due before it did not arrive, this seems to happen every second or third journey at the moment. At least you can breathe in and out, and bring your hand up to your mouth to cover a sneeze without molesting the person next to you, not like the Shanghai underground in rush hour.
First the tram crosses the bridge out of town, underneath the black water swells up to the whited out land. Worrying more the older I get, I start preparing to get off as soon as the tram gets to the stop before, in case I somehow offend the other travellers. I "Entschuldigung" my way to the doors, wishing I could emulate the native speaking woman who asked to be let through, confidently, a couple of stops back. The people crammed inside slide away as the tram leaves the stop and I pull on my gloves again.
I wallk. The hot coffee I had to keep me warm before I set out has already transmuted to a cold full bladder. My feet crump on the frost crusted snow as I walk towards where the sun will rise, but the sky is that shade somewhere between navy and midnight, light enough to be called blue but by no means actually light. I get to the main road, and the lights of the passing cars make shadows on the rutted path. I feel the warm fluid inside me, and idly wonder if I would feel warmer or colder if I were to piss myself, on balance colder I assume.
The office block my destination ahead, grey walled against that difficult to describe blue, and random lit squares of early workers glow. Invitingly, I would say, if it was not my workplace.