Since getting back to Regina, I’ve had a few people from Sri Lanka email me to ask how, practically speaking, does a person live in such a cold place.
My first answer is – I have no idea.
The weather has been absolutely brutal here (especially for late March), and I have spent most of my walks to work swearing and gnashing my teeth into -35 winds with cracked, dry skin from head to toe. Even for Regina standards this winter is getting ridiculous and all the people who have lived this for the past 5 months are starting to crack. Everyone I talk to (even my 91-year-old grandma) say this has been the worst winter ever.
Most people here are pretty much resigned that this must be the start of the next ice age, so we better get used to it (or move to Sri Lanka).
But as I head into week 3 of being back home and with temperatures still in the -10 range, the tips and tricks of how to live in this type of climate are slowly starting to come back to me. Here are a few things to try if you ever find yourself in Regina, Winnipeg or Siberia during winter:
1) Stay in your bed for as long as possible – In Sri Lanka our bed sucked. I couldn’t get out of it fast enough as soon as the sun rose at 6 a.m. Here, I stay tucked in until the last possible moment for me to get to work on time. Screw breakfast. screw coffee, even screw showering (I don’t sweat here, honest!).
2) Always wear a woolen hat (we call them toques in Canada) even inside – You lose most of your heat from the top of your head, so fashionable head wear is a must. Don’t worry about your hair. No one will judge you.
3) Layers are your friend – Long underwear, socks, gloves, mitts, shirts, sweaters, bunny hugs, kangaroos, hooded sweatshirts, jackets, coats, boots, Sorel’s, slacks, pantaloons – it doesn’t matter what you’ve got, just wear it all at once and you’ll be fine. Again, don’t worry what you look like because it’s a matter of survival.
4) Soup is good – I never have been a fan of soup, until now. Eat as much of it as you can.
5) Heat is all around us – Everything is heated here – our cars, our houses, our work, our hallways, our water…everything. The constant artificial heat makes my throat dry and cracks my lips, but you really can’t live without it.
6) Exercise – For me, this one runs across hot and cold climates. To stave off the depression that can set in by never being able to spend time outside, you have to find some way to burn some calories and release some endorphins. I’ve been trying to run outside most days, but it’s not always possible – sucky.
7) Gin is out. Guinness is in – The thought of gin, like Sri Lanka, seems far, far away. Maybe this summer will be different, but for now give me a Guinness and warm up my belly.
8) Keep laughing – Just like the heat of Sri Lanka, the cold of Regina is sometimes only tolerable if you laugh about it. Reginans share an experience unlike almost anything else on Earth, so even though we’re shivering, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t laugh about it.
That’s about it for now. Take it easy and stay warm (or cool) depending on where you are. I promise to stop bellyaching about the weather now. My next blog will be uplifting and inspirational, or it will be depressing and sarcastic. It will be a game time decision.
Missing everyone in Sri Lanka.
P.S. Just for the record I think Trina is very funny…for a girl. Sorry, in advance.