Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Since there are no buses, there are probably no spoons either...

... So we must be in the Matrix. Except I didn't think the Matrix was going to be so cold.

On this, the 50th day of the OC Transpo strike, I had to walk to work. Again. In the snow and the wind and the cold temperatures. Really, they couldn't have picked a better time to piss people off. In the summer, it wouldn't be so bad because many more people would be walking or biking. (I privately applaud and simultaneously wonder about the sanity of people who bike in the winter.) But it wouldn't surprise me if, after the strike, people just refused to use transit for a while - say, for the expected 14 WEEK-delay of a full return of service.

I have been relying on my mother-in-law (with whom, fortunately, I get along with just fine) for rides to work when it gets too cold to walk, but I hate being so dependent on her when I'm sure she has other things she'd rather be doing. So when it's nicer - this being a relative term, clearly, and in this case meaning around -10°C or warmer - I walk. Except today.

My normal place of work is exactly 60 minutes away. I have another casual place of work which is about 25 minutes away. (All times calculated in walking speed, though if you really want to know it's 4 km and 1.8 km.) Today I had agreed to work an extra shift at the casual place. I bundled up, as usual (leggings under my pants; an extra pair of socks in my purse, just in case mine got wet on the journey; and a sweater with a high collar I can use to cover my face) and realized it was not as warm as I had hoped. The snow had already drifted a few inches on my porch, and thought, "Oh, crap, I'm going to have to walk home in this same weather and then shovel. Gravy."

But in the midst of all this misery, I have also realized that I have learned several important things.

I've learned the delicate art of removing one's boots without shaking the snow that's stuck to your pants onto your feet, the floor directly beneath your foot where you're bound to step once you've lost your balance, or the inside of the shoe you're about to put on.

I've learned the trick of rolling your pant cuffs a little higher than normal so they don't accumulate as much snow, and thus wick salty slush up to your knees, leaving your pants stiff and white with salt.

I've learned that wool blends dry faster than pure wool.

I've learned that gloves, toques and scarves worn for several hours a day actually start to smell a little bit funky. (People don't often think about smelly winter clothes, but I try to chuck mine in the wash at least once a month - though it should be much more often than that.)

And I've also learned that I really want my own car now.