For those of us in the southern hemisphere it is time to feel the warmth dissipate and the days become shorter as we gradually lean further from the sun. In Nelson the air becomes crisper, the mountains become clearer, the sunsets more beautiful, and watching summer fade away doesn't seem so bad.
Salads are replaced with [international versions of] soup,* shorts are more frequently supplemented with long pants, and pilsners are traded for porters and stouts.** Less backpackers are willing to brave sleeping in tents and suddenly conversations turn from "Where are you going next?" to "When are you going home?"
Nostalgia rides in with the cold fronts and the atmosphere feels entirely different. People change in accordance with the seasons. They can be cold as their travels end or warming up to the idea of a sweet winter in a new place. There is less new influence and you start to appreciate the people who remain constant. In Nelson I'm finding friendship in unexpected places and feeling like part of a community.
Look it's a team of soccer (football) players:
After our first game, we tied 1-1 and I seem to be so happy I can't open my eyes
It's weird how you can feel at home in a place where everyone was a stranger only 4 months ago. I wrote the bulk of this post over a month ago and just realised it had been sitting un-posted in the queue. The words ring even truer now than they did when I wrote them from inside a hostel.
*I make excellent coconut curry. Just FYI.
**Or dark Wheat beers, like Wheat and Greet by Founders Brewery. Banana, Chocolate, and the feeling of warmth hitting your soul, it's the perfect beer for sitting around a bonfire. Sold?