The temperatures of Canadian winters

When there’s an official(ly looking) warning about the weather, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to do anything else but stay in bed. The warning speaks of the right way to dress yourself, to remember fingers, toes and nose, to please not drink alcohol and really not get wet.

Guess which recent immigrant decided that Sunday February 14, with the appealing number of -22 on the thermometer, decided to go cycling?
In my defense, I had given myself a way out. If it would be snowing, I wouldn’t go. The parade for the Chinese New year was too far away (over an hour) to walk. But after one day spent in bed, I couldn’t do it another time this soon. The parade was a good, (tourist-y) reason to move and get out*. And there would be lai see, red envelopes of luck.

I wore two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, two pairs of gloves, leg warmers, four layers on the upper body, a scarf and a helmet.
Winds like these should be illegal, and who knew a nose could run that much because of cold? Still, possibly because of nerves about an unfamiliar bike and unfamiliar route, I didn’t notice the cold too much. Were those ice crystals on my scarf?

It was the way back home that I started to recognise I couldn’t feel individual toes any more. That my pinkies were painfully cold, that my ring fingers were less easy to bend around the bars. And even though I kept telling myself that body parts wouldn’t suffer frost bite in twenty minutes (not with coverings involved) (I hope?) I was still a but nervous when undressing. What should you do with frozen body parts?

Like with any cold piece of meat, I slowly thawed them in lukewarm water before packing them away warmly. I think all of me is fine.
Today is a lovely, soft, -10. I might take a walk to appreciate it.


*= turns out it was really small and really quickly over. And no envelope received either, alas


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