- When it gets this cold outside people still go to work, kids go to school, stores are open and cars still work – society doesn’t cease to function.
- Some people actually choose to live here – and I am one of them! What am I thinking?!??
When I first moved to Edmonton, it was summer time. It was nice, hot and the days were long and idyllic – that’s how people get sucked in! I don’t think anyone moves here in January. I recall walking through a parking lot my during my first week of living here and wondering why there were plug-ins all over the place. I merely shrugged and thought it was a Canadian oddity since I had never seen such a thing in America. Now I know it’s so that you can plug your car in because it gets so cold here that your car will turn into a block of ice if you don’t! I should have asked questions, and then turned tail and ran from the cold. This is my ninth winter here and I’m still shocked. I know, I’m a slow learner…
This morning as I walked towards my office building downtown, a well dressed man came up and asked me how well I knew Edmonton. I thought he was looking for an office building downtown or something like that. Apparently, he arrived this morning on the Grey Hound and needed to get to 149 Avenue and 97 Street. Unfortunately, his luggage got put on the wrong bus and he had to hike there without a toque (for all you Americans reading this, a toque is a stocking hat and it’s pronounced two-kuh) or scarf and only a medium weight coat. He was currently on 100 Avenue and 101 Street. It would take me about 2 hours on a summer day to make the trek; there was no way this man was going to survive. As I fished in my bag for some money to give him for a bus ride, my hand froze. I am not over stating this (as I am sometimes known to do), my hand actually had no feeling after being exposed to the elements for a mere 90 seconds! All I did was give this man $2.25, tell him to take the number 9 bus and ask the bus driver what bus to take after the number 9. Why didn’t I buy him coffee at the Starbucks we were standing in front of? Why didn’t I ask more questions and help him out more? Perhaps the cold froze my brain this morning – I wasn’t thinking straight. Now I can’t stop thinking about this man and his trek through the arctic without any of his belongings – I hope he makes it and that someone more coherent helped him out along the way.