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Cold. Must Rant.

Went for a walk, frozen eyelashes, Ottawa, February 2015
Went for a walk, frozen eyelashes, Ottawa, February 2015

It’s been consistently cold since we came back. I get it, it’s February, I don’t expect temperatures in the teens, but -10°C, -15°C, hell, -30°C is just way too cold. I hate it. I can’t even convince myself that it’s going to get better (yeah, in weeks…), that I should embrace this aspect of life in Canada, that snow is beautiful, that we are lucky to have clear blue skies every now and then.

It’s cold and it sucks. I’m sorry, it’s true.

I had this conversation over and over again when traveling. “Lucky you, in Canada it’s not as hot and humid as here!” “Nope, it’s muy frio.” “Cold is better than hot.” “Sorry… but no, it’s not.”

I get it, some people don’t like the heat, the humidity, the burning hot sun shining above. Some people have sensible skin, eyes, whatever. But I think the cold hurts and damages your body more than the heat. Sure, you can pass out from heat exhaustion. But you can die from the cold, it’s called hypothermia. You can get frostbites. You get sick more easily. Your muscles hurt because you are constantly shivering or bracing against the wind. Your skin is dry, your hands and your face are burning.

“Put some cream on your hands!” Feng reminds me when he sees how dry they are. “I am! Doesn’t do any good!”

I’m not built for the cold. My body can’t take it.

Every time you step out, even for a few minutes, you need to put on your boots, gloves, scarf, jacket and hat. And take everything off when you step inside, and repeat this all day long. It’s tiresome.

No wonder I keep on losing a glove here and there in the process.

Ideally, you’d stay indoors. I have to admit that our heating systems are efficient. I’m almost never cold when I’m at home, in a store or any indoor public place—the exception may be movie theaters, where I often find the temperature chilly, and I’m not the only one considering the number of people who keep their jacket or sweater on.

Sure, I’d stay indoors for a day or two. But for weeks, for months? I mean, it’s not like minus-way-too-cold is an exception here. It’s the rule for days and days from December to April. What am I supposed to do? Hibernate?

Maybe I should. That’s what people seem to do, anyway. Stores aren’t busy and the streets are empty. There is a reason why people enjoy living in big houses, why they spend money on home improvement projects, why a finished basement is synonym to heaven. People need a place to hide.

But I don’t like to hide indoors. I love being outside. I love walking to Starbucks to grab a coffee and take a break, I enjoy walking to the supermarket to do my daily grocery shopping (and get fresh produce!). I feel free outside. And don’t remind me that if I didn’t smoke, I wouldn’t step out every now and then…

The roads are white with snow and salt, the snowbanks are tall and the sidewalks are icy. There is nobody in the street but the occasional commuter waiting for the bus, a guy walking his dog, a woman running to the community mailbox with the key in her hand—sorry, her glove. It’s depressing.

Every single day, I have to remind myself it won’t last forever. I hope so, anyway.

The cold affects my mood, affects my life—our lives. It’s difficult to go out, get around, everything has to be planned.

I feel trapped.

This is torture.

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