Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cold, Cold Days

It was last week when I experienced the coldest days of this season. Temperature at night dropped down to -36 degrees Celsius  and rose to -25 degrees in the day time.  When I went out for a walk at noon for barely 3 minutes, my face became numb and my feet felt the painful sting of the cold that seeped through my boots. The air was so thick that it was hard for me to breathe. But I kept going out anyway.

I’ve always loved the cold weather. Back in the Philippines, I lived in the mountainous city of Baguio where the weather is cold most of the year, but not nearly as cold as here. There’s no snow, only cold air, cold wind and thick fogs. And yet, I’ve loved to be hugged by these cold weather elements. Seven degrees Celsius was real cold for us there, and I kept shivering even under the thickest jacket that I had then. When I was about to move here, an American friend warned me of the extreme cold weather that I might encounter, but I said it was ok because I loved the cold. “Good for you,” she replied.

And when I came here, the coldest temperature that I used to enjoy in Baguio faded to insignificance as the winter iciness greeted my arrival. The above zero degrees C at that time sent me freezing like I’ve never felt before. Weird as I am, I just let the frosty air hug me (even while my whole body was shaking)   and tried to suck in the sensation of this new experience. After that, I kept looking forward to colder days and hoping for an extremely lower temperature. I wanted to see how far my body can tolerate cold weather. So far, as I’ve already stated, I’ve been through -36 degrees C, and that was a kind of adventure for me.  Sometimes, when it’s only about minus 15, I feel strangely disappointed. While everyone else likes it warmer, I like it colder. But they said that the colder it gets here, the higher we pay for our electricity. And this is what I can’t understand since we never adjust our heaters higher than what we use.

This week, it’s still cold, and the weather forecasts keep warning of more extreme coldness in the days to come. But then, like the saying, “The darkest hour in the night is before the dawn,” the coldest days of winter are before the spring. Of course, I also love spring and I’m eagerly waiting for that too. But while waiting, I want to relish every minute of the extreme coldness and the remaining snowfall in these last days of winter.