You know it’s October in Luxembourg when…

My first Jack-o'-lantern

Pumpkin missed its chance to become soup

Did you hear? Autumn is in town, blowing it’s redhead temperament over the Grand Duchy and its countless forests, and you might still not want to believe it… Well, good or bad news, October is here and it’s planning to stay at least 3 more weeks. As for me, I find it difficult to explain (to others) but fall is my favorite season, and October is it’s high time. It’s a good month to draw some lines, start some projects, let some creative thoughts kindle the inner Jack-o’-lantern.

However, if you happen to be in denial, here are some hints about how to identify the month of October here. So, here we go.

You know it’s October (or simply fall) in Luxembourg when:

… Everyone get nuts about going to the nut fair Vianden, a perfect occasion to buy nut liquor while moving along in a sea of people.

…When people start panicking that WINTER is coming!!! even in those years when we’ve been blessed with an Indian summer. You hear the first people setting appointments for the winter tires and women whispering to each other: “I have to admit it… I could no longer resist it. I know I shouldn’t have done it but…. I did it. I turned the heating on. …. Did you?” “Oh yes, I’ve sinned too!”

…When expats complain most about the depressing weather in Luxembourg.

…When Cineast starts. In case you do not know, this is a film festival bringing Eastern European productions to Luxembourg. The subjects of these films are limited to a manic-depressive sphere. We have deranged family drama and revolutions (Romanians are the specialists here), deranged politics with a glimpse of religion (go Poland!), Czech films with jokes about Slovaks that no one understands, war drama and tragedy (any ex-Yugoslavian country excels in this) and obviously, immigration and poverty which are the two topics that unite us all in the Eastern + Baltic bloc.
To break the bitterness now and then comes a Balkan music concert or a comedy (usually dark comedy on the above topics) and culinary events.
And despite all the drama and the depressive tone, the festival (which I LOVE by the way) seems to expand every year with new selections, new countries and to last longer. Maybe in a few years it will cover the entire month of October and all cardinal points.

…When you start planning the month of December and you realize that you no longer have any day left without a End-Year Party, Christmas party, charity party or team dinner, friends gathering dinner, let’s-go-to-the-Christmas-market-dinner-lunch-or-Sunday-afternoon-party and you start thinking with horror how you are going to run for Christmas presents between the 21st and 24th of December.

…When Auchan sets up a mushrooms stand and Cactus starts selling stollen (traditional Christmas cake).

…When you’re panicking because either you don’t have any more holidays left or you have too many. In any case you’re not allowed to complain because you’re in Luxembourg and you have more holidays than the rest of the world.

…When you understand that soon you’ll do most of the things in the dark or artificial light.

…When you start looking for flights to places where it’s sunny.

….When in your office you have arguments about whether it is ethical for someone who coughs to come to work or not.

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A Jack o’ Lantern called O. October.

As for me, I knew it’s October when I realized that I had received this mini pumpkin in September. It was a gift from a friend’s garden and it was supposed to become part of some soup. Instead, by the time I got to my kitchen a month has passed. So, I assigned it a new destiny and it became my first  Jack-o’-lantern, to lighten my balcony.

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