Il fait froid! (it's cold!)
As you might have noticed, it has been a bit since we've posted here. It's not that nothing has been going on, but the holidays were a bit rough for us. At this point, most of you know why. We're recuperating the best we can, but the house has definitely been way too quiet and lonely lately. Natasha, we miss you so much.
OK, let's talk about the one thing that everyone keeps asking us about: the weather. Yes, it is cold. I'm not going to pretend it isn't. But, outside of a couple days here and there, it has been completely bearable. Have we gotten tougher already? Apparently so!
The most difficult thing about the cold is the process involved in getting ready to leave the apartment. Back in Atlanta, we got dressed, grabbed our car keys, and left. The most we had to do was throw on a coat. And in the winter months, a coat was a strong "maybe." But not here. Since we aren't using the car right now (snow tires mandatory from Dec-Mar), we walk and take the Metro or bus everywhere. Which means being out in the cold whether you like it or not.
Leaving the apartment is a process that goes like this:
-Make sure you have thermal underwear under pants. This is crucial.
-Layers on top. I've been wearing a flannel shirt with a t-shirt underneath. When paired with a wool hat, Marny calls this my "logging man" look.
-Snow boots. These are our primary footwear right now, for warmth and function.
-Finally, coat/gloves/warm hat. Don't forget the hat.
-Oh, and make sure you use the restroom before starting this process. Undoing it all is a pain.
By this point, I'm usually sweating a bit, so the blast of cold air feels temporarily pleasant as I leave the building. I've learned to accept that I'm going to be sweating again when I get to the Metro station, as they heat those quite well in the winter. I also learned recently that only tourists take their coats off on the train. I have no idea why this is, but God forbid I look like a tourist. But the key is dressing appropriately for the temperature. As long as you're prepared, it really isn't that big of a deal. Yet.
We've also had to make some alterations to the apartment. We've become "shoes off before going inside" people due to the dirty water/salt tracks boots leave on the floors, and we just ordered a "boot bench" to put in the foyer so we have somewhere to sit and take them off. Who are we?
Has there been snow? Yes, of course. But not as much as we expected by now, and we're still hoping for the pretty "winter wonderland" vibe. According to locals, the winter has been fairly mild this year, which is unusual. Actually, each season has been "unusual" when you hear locals talk about them. Summer was unusually hot, fall was unusually rainy, and winter has been unusually less brutal. Did we move to Canada right as climate change takes hold? I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.