This is a story about frozen limbs, icy air and terrible snow, or, as the locals describe it, just another day in Montreal.
It began on the day Winter waltzed suddenly into town again. Apparently there would be one last icy show before he, reluctantly, had to make way for Spring. My goals was to carry on and survive the next week. Ha!
Temperatures dropped so low over the weekend, the morning air burned cold in my lungs when I stepped outside for my coffee fix. My runny nose froze full of little ice cubes. After five minutes of quick walking I could not feel my cheeks or the tip of my nose anymore. The sky was bright and the wind scraped along my face. It was, I decided, a great experience I am not keen on repeating. The next day I would stay inside and feel caffeine deprived, but still warm.
I had decided on several layers of clothing, my ski jacket, a woolly hat and my thickest gloves. Then came the worst decisions. Do I wear my glasses or contact lenses? My glasses would freeze over and therefore blind me every time I breathe or walk inside. Bit embarrassing. I was wondering if lenses could freeze in your eyes if you did not blink. Anything is possible in this weather so I decided to risk it.
I walked outside while trying to put on my gloves. Remember I wrote about breaking my elbow a couple of weeks ago? My glove refused to fit around the brace. I ended up with reasonably warm fingers and a part of hand that looked purple upon arrival.
Tired and hungry, I decided to buy take out on the way back. Let see if the cold would freeze my warm meal before I made it back. When I unpacked my meal, it was still piping hot. Not fair. I was frozen so bad my muscles hurt, but the dumplings were steaming. Next time I should wrap myself in aluminium foil.
Next day I stayed inside. I already had proven the previous day I was A Tough Girl That Can Handle A Bit Of Cold. Staying curled up underneath a blanket was my reward.
After the cold came the snow. It started out with tiny, tiny flakes that blew across the streets. They looked like dust that clung to every surface. They covered your jacket, but curiously enough did not melt like previous snowflakes I encountered. Back in Europe I was used to wet snow; these flakes was so dry that I could shake snow from my hair without any residual wetness. I did not believe this was the snowstorm we were warned about. (No, New York was warned about the foot of snow that would delay flights and disrupt public life. In Montreal, they just shrugged and carried on). During the day I saw the snow build up and transform the roads into white paths. At night, the parked cars became small, white hills of virgin snow. We tried to have a snowball fight, but the snow did not stick so we just dumped the stuff in each other’s faces. We let ourselves drop down and made snow angels. Even after half an hour horseplay in the snow, everyone was still dry.
The next day the snow came up to my knees. While walking in the middle of the city. Best. Day. Ever.
This was two weeks ago. I thought that would be the end of winter. Daylight saving started and by solar reckoning it is officially spring. We had a wonderful St Patrick’s day and parade (drunk Irish Stormtroopers anyone?) and Persian New Year has begun (Happy Nowruz!). But I look outside and it is snowing again. Somebody give me a single flight ticket to the sun please.