It was five in the evening, or night, depending on whether you look at the clock or the sky. I decided on how much to wear. Two sweaters or three? Two pairs of long johns /thermals or one? The usual complex decisions, you know. A mere 20 below zero Celsius does not require much, nevertheless one can never be too warm in Harbin.
(brain nudges) Oh yes, I need to mention that it was unusually warm till about last week when things got into place. By things I mean, icicle-decorated nostrils, icy roads, icy lashes, and stuff like that. Hooray! It’s winter! My happiness sounds like this ‘tadatumtum!’ . No I’m not crazy. The minus tens were scary, brought global warming so close to home! So after the very warm #NYE (New Year’s Eeeve, dad, that’s how it’s referred to now, you really need to get an Instagram account ) , we in Harbin are singing in the ice, just singing in the ice, what a gloooorious feeeli.. whoops .. getting derailed here. Gosh I love musiiicahhls!
Ah so, like I was saying, I went out to meet up with friends ….(fast forwarding noise) .. and on my way back home, my common sense (Mrs. CS hereafter) had this familiar conversation with me, again. Yep, Mrs. CS is very entertaining. A half an hour walk is not as simple is it sounds. Mrs. CS insisted on keeping me company and I was glad of that coz Mr. Husband was at his lab and couldn’t be my perpetual knight-in-yellow-armor. SO glad we bought a happy colored down jacket last year for him. Yellow never gets boring, does it? Anyhoo, here’s what went on;
Me : “Brrr… you know it’s cold when you are bundled up but can’t do anything about the cold. It’s still so fascinating, that one can wear on so many layers but fifteen minutes tops and the cold gets to you and …I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my to-ohs…”
Mrs. CS: “Stop singing, focus your energy on walking, really, brisk walking helps warm up your legs , how many times do I need to tell you that ?”
Me: “ya ya I know, I know” walks fast nearly slips
“aargh! It’s ice all over, they really only care about the roads that are visible to the public slash media. I can’t walk fast ,ok !” Skid left foot, skid right foot, Skid left foot, skid right foot
Mrs. CS : “Your nose is runny, running all over your pretty woolen muffler, wipe it. ”
Me: “ errr, but that would mean I need to take my hands outta my pockets and then outta my mittens. You know once my fingers feel the cold they hold on to that memory, right?”
Mrs. CS: “that would be a better option than sniffling all the way up that slope and sniffling all over your muffler . washing that cheap thing too many times is gonna ruin it”
Me: “I don’t care, really, I don’t. frozen fingers aren’t the best kinda experience”
Mrs. CS : “Whateeverrr”
Me: “you know what, this is gonna make a good post for that weekly challenge thing on WordPress, hey, you listening? Hullo? You really are too sensitive, seriously. “
I reach the gate, pull out my gate card, beep , and I’ve got another two minutes to enter my apartment building. I feel the yucky wetness of the muffler over the lower half of my face yuuuuck
Me: “I give up, gonna wipe my nose. I’ll try doing that with my mittens on, how hard can it be, picking up that piece of tissue and swiping it across my nose huh…”
The awkward lifting of the paw-like mitten painfully grasping onto the tissue….
Mrs CS :”just take your hands out of your mi…”
thushh (not a ‘thud’ coz tissues fall on the ground ever so lightly)
Me: “noooooo not agaiiiinnn …”
Mrs. CS: “You are sucha natural, a natural klutz.. bahaha”
Me: “stop talking!”
I pull open that heavy ,heavy metal door to my building and take off my mittens ,pull off the damp muffler … eewwww ewww eww and press the button for the elevator. My thumbs, having been singled out from the rest of the family , are red.
Frozen digits after all.
Mrs. CS won.
In case you are wondering what just went on up there, this is it