That is what minus 41 degrees (windchill) looks like.
Nothing giving away the clue to the harsh temperature, but as soon as you open the door, or even get near it for that matter, you know. I am afraid my dedication to this blog didn't stretch to taking a more impressive picture, as that would have involved taking my gloves off outside and I am rather fond of my fingers!
I would have loved to have hibernated, but I had a squash lesson to get to...
I had to buy my monthly travel ticket on the way to the gym, and was just coming out of the metro station door with it charged up in my hand ready to go, when I saw my bus. I ran towards it (slowly as there is still patches of vicious ice on the ground), and reached the road crossing, when the driver pulled away. I frantically waved but she didn't notice.
Slipping and sliding to the bus stop, I peered at the timetable and to my distress saw on that particular day - the 2nd of January - the buses didn't appear to run as often as they usually do. I would have to wait for fifteen to twenty minutes for the next bus. At that particular stop there is no bus shelter. There is a book shop and small grocery store nearby, but both were closed as it was still the New Year Holidays so I couldn't hover in them to escape the chill. I decided the best course of action would be to walk, as staying still for that length of time would only be asking for trouble.
As I was pondering my what was the best thing to do, a car drew up and the window wound down.
The driver, a guy in his mid-thirties, lent over and said he'd give me a lift. I thought he said he was going to the metro stop, and declined, but he saw my gym bag and asked if I was going to the gym, The Sanctuaire (which I was). I still declined his offer. I am by nature perhaps overly suspicious of people, never giving their good intentions the benefit of the doubt and always suspecting the worst. I was still jet lagged and getting over our holiday in England, which always makes me unsure of where I am. Besides I am still not overly confident of this city either: still weighing up what is considered the norm regarding etiquette, general manners, all that type of thing, so all in all I was very unwilling to get in the car with this strange man.
"It's so cold, it's not good to be outside."
"I know, but I'm fine. Thank you." I replied.
"Your choice," he shouted as he drove of in a huff.
I walked up to the gym which took twenty minutes, and not one bus passed me, right until I reached the stop where I would be getting off it.
Typical!Despite wrapping a scarf around my head and over my nose and mouth, I couldn't breath through my nose after only a few minutes outside,
The last section of the walk was up hill, and I struggled. My lungs were on fire, I couldn't breath at all through my nose, and I had that sick feeling I usually experienced when my ears were numb, except they didn't feel numb. My legs were burning too. I thought I was going to be sick, or faint, but I made it to the warmth of the gym reception.
As I fumbled, with numb fingers, to grasp my gym pass from my coat packet, my nose and eyes running, my legs and nose stinging; who should be stood there with a group of his mates?
Yup, the guy in the car.
As I struggled to function and my body started to thaw out, which then made it hurt more, he followed me down the hallway, talking (more accurately, shouting) to his friends. "I tried to give her a lift, but she said no... Ridiculous in these temperatures."
I took refuge in the changing rooms.
I am fond of my nose too.
But safe to say, if we ever have the option of moving somewhere this cold again, I may have to have a very long and hard think before I say yes.