“Uh uh,” I said. “Not going downtown.”
“I’ll drive you. You always go downtown on Saturdays!”
“The way I see it now, is I’m going speed to Rideau Centre—the business district is dead on weekends anyway—; walk around in the mall for thirty minutes; not buy anything because one, I don’t need anything, two, I’m too lazy to strip in a fitting room and try clothes on; then I’m going to wait at the bus stop for thirty minutes; take the 14 and be home forty-five minutes later. And I would have accomplished nothing.”
“Oh. But you always…”
“… go downtown on Saturdays. Yeah, sorry. I’m just in a bad mood. But really, it’s not that fun to go downtown when the weather is crappy.”
It had been extremely cold on Friday (think -25°C plus windchill), and when I saw snowflakes on Saturday morning, I was almost happy. “Not as cold?” I asked Feng, hopeful. He shrugged. “Cold. Snow. Roads are bad, I think.” “Oh.” Usually, it doesn’t snow when it’s very cold. I guess that day was an exception.
Mark was with my in-laws, I had some free time. In the afternoon, once the chores done—laundry, vacuuming, dishes, another load of laundry, my life is fascinating, I know—I decided to take a break and head out. I needed an incentive, though, and I already had my daily dose of Starbucks.
Taking pictures. Even though I feel I’m taking the same pictures over and over again when I’m home.
The light was almost surreal, with the sun shining through a thick layer of grey clouds. It would snow again, for sure, but meanwhile it was almost hazy—would have been, if it wasn’t -20°C.
I stepped out and followed my usual route. First, through our residential neighbour, quiet snowy streets and not a soul outside, people presumably relaxing at home in their beloved “finished basement”. Then through the forest, a pathway used by people walking their dogs and residents of the nearby apartment buildings/social housing. Finally, I arrived on Merivale Road, one of West Ottawa’s main arterial roads. It’s not a pretty area, just a busy double-lane road with decent sidewalks on both sides and a mix of small businesses and franchise stores and restaurants. I don’t like it but I appreciate it because at least, I can walk to a commercial shopping district. In some suburbs, there is nothing to walk to, not even a gas station.
The roads hadn’t been shoveled yet and it felt like Siberia with the wind.
Eh, maybe people in Siberia say “it feels like Canada” when it’s cold over there…
You can see more pictures of winter in Ottawa on Flickr.