Ski week - now there's a concept!
Ski Week. What a concept, really. Five working days set aside each year with the underlying implication that people will spend that time skiing. I know it’s not the official name of next week’s holiday. It’s Carnival Week for the non-secular, but that’s a lot of syllables. Ski Week is short and quick; it’s got zip.
Besides, I don’t hear a lot of talk about people going to Rio or New Orleans or Venice or even Binche. Nope. All roads lead to The Alps this time of year: Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy, Germany. The highways to any of these destinations will be quite crowded this weekend. And it’s not just those of us living in Luxembourg who will be heading there. Belgians and Dutch cars will go that way, too, the Dutch without their caravans this time of year.
We’ve made the trip south quite a few times, almost every year since the boys were born. That means they got a head start on me. I didn’t learn to ski until I moved to Europe in 2000. Then again, there aren’t any mountains in the Midwest. The highest peak is 560 meters. That equals the highest point in Luxembourg, yet I’ve never heard of anyone getting kitted out to downhill ski here.
l must admit, I’m always a bit hesitant to talk about ski week with friends back home. It’s like rubbing snow in an open wound.
Americans are notorious for their two weeks of vacation each year. What’s not so widely known is that you’d have to search far and wide to find people who actually use that time to go somewhere.
So I avoid discussing the typical amount of holiday time for people living in Europe and how despite spending five of those days on the slopes, there are still plenty of vacation days remaining to be used for a beach holiday, a stay at the summer house, a flight off the continent, a city trip, and a few days of resting at home.
No sense in adding insult to injury. After all, it’s ski week; I mean, Carnival. What’s the difference?
In the end, a rose by any other name is still… a week off from school or work.
By Dan Franch