I am writing from the depth of the Canadian cold, where the days are short and harsh. My fingers are still stiff from the biting subzero temperatures that have now become, once again, part of my reality.
I remember how I laughed at the horrified looks my tales of -30 would get me. I was delighted in watching the blank stares light up with comprehension.
I don’t laugh so much now…
I left my home this time last year and happily escaped a winter I heard categorized as “the worst in a long time”. Despite how miserably cold I have been so far – perhaps I have truly grown unaccustomed to the cold – I am ever so thankful not to be faced with a car, a driveway and even a street disappearing under mountains of heavy wet sticky snow.
This is as far as you can get from the tropical heats I was describing nearly a year ago when I spoke of my battle against dangerously high levels of dehydration (some of you might remember reading about it here).
Now I face a very different challenge, which is the bane of my fellow Canadians: frostbite.
From bloodless pasty white noses to cauliflower ears (the horrifying result of an advanced state of frostbite I witnessed years ago), the cold really does bite – so much so it is not unheard of people losing extremities to it.
As if this was not enough, no winter rant would be complete without a mention of the heartbreakingly short days and the despairing lack of sunlight.
You can imagine that with my return to work, which caused increasing back pains and the eerie impression that my hips are now square, I’m not a happy camper. Well, it’s really not that bad, but I do long to be back on a plane with my little backpack!
If you are a traveler from one of those countries where the sun always seem to shine (except in cases of rain, hurricanes, tropical storms…), do not let yourself be disheartened. I plan on posting in the coming days a little winter survival post that might be useful to the brave soul who would come to Canada at the end of January and the beginning of February.