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  • Everything is ready. I am excited and waiting for the school bus to come.
    The first ski lesson.
    I am still hungry, but I know that the lunch has to be light. 40 kilometers of U-bends have to be taken into consideration. It is the distance between my village and the ski slopes.
    My equipment is brand new. Yes, so beautiful, so desired, so blue, white and red.
    I fought exhaustingly for a week with my parents because I wanted that French brand - only that - and nothing else. Not the one massively bought by the others.
    Everybody skies here. I cannot not succeed.
    Ok, I am 8 years old, but I am determined. And I know it.
    The big bus is here. Mom waves good bye. I wave back, and her eyes are puzzled. Guess why.
    Wow, the slopes. Snow everywhere. And firs, and pines, and rocks...
    The ski boots are so heavy when I try to leave the bus with them already on, but I am so, so proud of them. Uh, not only snow, out here. Even ice. It's not soft...
    "Kids, let's go."
    "Get out, I said. We are in a hurry."
    "But, coach, I do not know how to..."
    "Later, later..."
    I am not sure that I hooked my skis properly. But, since they are so beautiful, they are even magic. Self-fixing. For sure. I look at them once again.
    "Claudia, come on, what are you waiting for?"
    "I am not sure that..."
    "Ski lift is not waiting for us and you all have to practice a little bit. MOVE!"
    Ok, let's move. The snow is waiting for me.
    Wait a second. I can't understand. I am standing and my French brand new skis start to slide. Against my will. My will doesn't count.
    They do not translate what I think for them into action. They have an independent life of their own. And it's making me slip to the opposite direction I am supposed to aim to. On top of it, they are even able to unhook themselves. And they are doing it. Ice looks even harder from this perspective.
    Great expectations die here. First lesson.
    The others to come do not foretell anything good.

    Many years have passed.
    I'm still in love with snow and they still have an independent (ok, French) life.
    Which has got (almost) nothing to do with mine.

    Pic by APT Val di Non
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