May 28, 2014: Thunderstruck

I grew up on the West Coast of Canada. And there, people are aware that thunderstorms exist, but they rarely happen. And when they do, the tend to be far away. Usually never closer than a mile or two. You see a flash, wait eight to 10 seconds and you hear a distant roll of thunder. It’s novel when it happens. I’d watch out the window for a few minutes after I heard a soft roll of thunder before going back to whatever I was doing.

In Krakow, I’ve been seeing the flash and hearing the thunder almost simultaneously. It appears to be striking in Old Town, not even a two minute walk from our door. And its loud. Not quite “standing in front of the speakers at an AC DC concert loud,” but definitely louder than the trams that pass our apartment regularly, drowning out our conversation if the window is open. And thunder, up close thunder, has a harder crack to it. A sharpness that demands attention.

This is the first time I’ve ever felt a tingle of fear during a thunderstorm. Not that it’s likely I’ll be struck, given the large number of tall buildings acting as lightning rods, but it feels more possible here than at home. Seeing lightning hit made my heart skip a beat.

And we’ve had two this week. It’s only Wednesday.