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Nine below

Transplanting myself a couple of times over the last several months has forced me to re-adjust in a number of ways; I’ve adjusted housing situations, transportation options, and even what foods I eat. I gained a new perspective on the word “heat” when I moved to Tokyo in the middle of summer. And now I’m getting hit in the chest (literally) with the polar opposite in Oregon.

The cold is absurd. It’s stupid. I say this because there’s no reason it should ever get this cold in a place where humans dwell. We should not be here and be surviving. Even our appliances have started to realize this. First, the hot water heater in the garage went. Then, early this morning, I woke to my Father rushing into my room and grabbing my tiny $9.99 heater to use in the garage to heat the furnace because it had frozen (and thus, ceased to function). This is where I have to draw the line. I had perfected the art of turning my room into a cocoon, and it was stripped of me! Oh, the humanity! We are using a heater to heat our heater. My head almost exploded in the act of typing that sentence.

Water runs perpetually from the sinks in the bathroom my brother and I share to prevent the pipes from freezing and cracking. We shower next door at my now deceased (may she rest in peace) Grandmother’s empty house because there’s no hot water and a repair guy hasn’t been able to come out to fix our on-demand hot water system. When I walk outside, it physically hurts to breathe the air into my lungs. I wear scarves and jackets and breathe through the wool to heat my oxygen before sucking it in. I am now a perpetual nanook.

And despite all this, the planet hasn’t had the decency to at least give us some nice snow to look at. I swear, the earth is smirking at me. I sit inside on the couch chugging coffee from my David Letterman mug and stare out the picture window in our living room. It looks sunny and gorgeous out there. It really does. Then I cross the room to the kitchen and peer at the thermometer we have reading the outside temperature: 9 degrees below zero (that’s -22 Celsius for those of you who use non-ridiculous units of measurement) .

I think I’ll stay inside with my nice, warm laptop computer. At least one of us has a hibernate function.

2 Comments

  1. Steve Steve December 10, 2009

    I hear ya. Jo is quickly adapting to the colder weather here in Korea, after spending most of her life in The Philippines and Arizona. Another English Teacher that recently came to Korea from Carolina is also having it rough… I will also admit to not liking YOUR winter. Korea’s winters are mild and I like it that way.

  2. Ryan Ryan December 12, 2009

    LOLLERSKATES!
    The ground is frozen here in Corvallis. Literally, you can see ice on the ground EVERYWHERE. I wish it would snow. Then I could ski around here!
    I was thinking about that the other day (how humans live here). First off, the poor homeless. Secondly, us inhabitants of dwellings are weak. Pretty sure most of us would be dead if we actually had to fend for ourselves and live outside.
    I’m just glad I have food and my bike trainer here so I can live here for a while w/o any outside support.

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