Sunday, January 23, 2005

How cold it is in Kingston

It's a record cold here, around 30 below zero Fahrenheit (including wind chill). For those of you in warmer climes, let me tell you what it' s like.

When I go outside I wear a scarf around my face so that just my eyes are showing. Like many successful people I wear two hats. One has a lining and wool on the outside, and the other goes on top of that-- one layer. With two hats I don't feel the biting wind through to my head. I wear a goose-down winter coat and mittens.

Within 12 seconds of walking outside, the hairs in my nose have frozen, and I feel them crinkle when I move it.
I try to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth so the warm exhalations warm my face beneath the scarf. The bad part of this is that since I am not exhaling warm air out of my nose, my nose gets terribly cold. After a few minutes I can't feel it, and have to start exhaling out my nose.

The wind is harsh and often full of icy snow. You have to squint if you walk into it, and your eyelashes, wet with the moisture from your breath, freeze together, making your eye not want to open. The little bit of exposed skin is usually in pain.

I went out dancing last night, and the bottoms of my pants got wet because of the gooky floor. By the time I got home it felt like I had two plastic rings around my feet-- the bottoms of my pants were frozen, solid.

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