Friday, January 21, 2005

Near Brushes With Frostbite

I had to do a little shopping after work today - the footwwear situation is critical - so I went to St. Laurent after work in search of the elusive Diesel Porrima. I found 1 pair at Soho, which was unfortunately a) tan and black and b) size 10. I'm looking for a for a plain black or orange/black 8.5. Hopes dashed, I thought I'd check out the boutique scene, then catch a bus home. Unfortunately buses don't run very often here, and even if they did I am unfamiliar with the routes and schedules, so I just kept walking and deeking in to shops when the cold got to be too much. The weather report said it was -23, which I can handle, but this was way beyond anything the last 2 weeks has offered up. I had a 20 minute cell phone chat with my Aunt and Granny in Pharmaprix (Shopper's) which warmed me up nicely, then had to stop 6 blocks later at Tim Horton's to re-warm. At this point I layered my angora gloves inside of my Thinsulate lined leather gloves. I was breathing through 2 layers of scarf and ice crystals were forming on my eyelashes and nose hairs. Frozen boogers, nice. At this point I was at Mont-Royal, so I figured I may as well walk home. Many warm up/browse stops later I got home. It took 2 minutes to get the key to turn in the frozen lock, by which point my thighs were solid ice. Ran upstairs to pee, and the toilet wouldn't flush. I found the explination on the kitchen table:

We're gone! We don't have cold water because it's -40c and the pipes are frozen, welcome to Quebec.

Yes, I know, I am an idiot for walking 20 blocks in -40c cold. Aside from the sure-to-be-pending pnuemonia I am faced with some very serious and immediate problems:

1) If the cold water pipes are frozen, are the outgoing pipes frozen too? Specifically, if I fill the toilet tank with water and flush it will it do down the pipes or flood the floor?

2) How the crap am I supposed to have a shower with nothing but scalding hot water?

Now, I've lived in my share of ghettotastic slums - see last apartment in Vancouver - but the problem is usually no HOT water. This is all new territory.

I just had to add a new layer of clothes, my outfit now consists of: red flannel cow pyjama's under sweatpants, tank top under wool cowl neck sweater under mid-thigh length cable knit belted cardigan, socks and flip flops. I am seriously considering a touque. Hot to death!

I think it's safe to say that I am bailing on my co-workers birthday tonight, not that the apartment is much warmer than the outdoors. But at least here I can warm my heart with Baywatch.


Anonymous said...

Please hurry up and update so I have something to do again. Thanks, James.

Melissa said...

James. Done and done. Sorry about the delay. Circumstances for which are explained in said posting.


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