24 January, 2006

Freezing Our Behinds Off

We are experiencing a cold front here in the Baltic coast. It swept in from Russia (or do I say ex-Russia?). Minus 30 degree C weather.

My children have never felt this type of cold in their lives. And, truthfully, they (we) are really not prepared for coldcold weather. Winter coats are just chic alternatives to jean jackets of the autumn fashion line. No one wears boots unless they are of fine leather and can be worn to the theatre with your new black cocktail dress.

I discovered there is no word for frostbite in German. Or at least none of my colleagues knew of the word. We all sat around the water cooker (boiler) this morning talking about the whole process of sending our children off to school this morning in the cold. They were just stunned by my description about all that we learn as Canadian (and presumably American) children about prevention, identification, and the healing of frostbite.

To them there is just cold and then mountain climbers getting their black toes cut off after conquering Everest. They have missed all the in between…. Isn’t that strange? It reminded me about reading somewhere how some language (of the Inuit?) there are numerous (30?) names for snow.