Sunday, December 2, 2007

Getting up in the middle of the night

I have already written about 24-hour day here that continues day after day, or month after month during summer time. This in itself is a very unique and strange experience initially. The funniest feeling I get when I get up in middle of the night at about 2 am to pee. The summer team lives in the 'living module' and toilets are situated outside. Expecting dead of the night, you feel very strange when you find bright sunshine outside. The first though that strikes you is that you are late for the day, but then you remind yourself that just now you saw the time as 2 am. The stranger feeling is when I compare it with my getting up in middle of the night while on treks in the Himalayas. On those treks we usually stay in the tents and for peeing we have to walk a little distance away from the living area. The darkness is at its maximum as there is no source of light near or far that could provide even some psychological satisfaction. The small torch lights up only a small area in front of you. The wind, its sound, and swaying of trees and bushes make the whole scene a bit scary. Even if you do not believe in ghosts, all invisible ghosts come alive. When you succeed in driving away this fear, the reality of your stepping on a crawling object (read snake/scorpion) with disastrous consequences is always there. Or the possibilities of a Himalayan bear suddenly coming out from behind the bush to give you a hug like a long lost friend. However, in Antarctica there is no such fear. Even with a wind of 100 kmph there is not a blade of grass to shake, no crawling objects, and no ghosts. And no bear here, the famous white polar bear lives in North Pole (Arctic) and not in Antarctica.

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