Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jacket Weather

Dang, it's cold where I am today. Is it cold where you are? Even during the earlier storms and rainy days of 2007, it never felt this cold. Understand, of course, that cold is relative. Being used to the tropical temperature of the Philippines, anything below 23 degrees celsius is cold for me. Right now it feels like we're in the teens.

Many years ago I was at Niagara, the U.S. side, on a trip with the family. It was March, spring for North America, but I was bundled up in a heavy jacket and several shirts on an overcast day. Even the air felt cold and wet. Two dudes, natives for sure, walked by in shorts, sandals, and sleeveless shirts.

"Brisk today, isn't it?" one said to the other.

How do you react to something like that? I didn't. Just watched them continue walking on their way, my hands in my pockets, my shoulders hunched, waiting for one of my relatives to bring the car with the blessed heater over.

My first experience of relativity, as when the temperature is being considered.

A more recent experience: about four years ago I was with my in-laws waiting in line with the other cars for our turn to get on the ferry that would take us back to Vancouver from Victoria Island. It was dusk, and as the sun set the mercury dropped to the floor faster than a pornstar's panties. From inside the minivan we were riding, poor, hapless me felt the sudden chilling call of nature. The nearest loo was about a hundred meters away, at the station that doubled as a convenience store.

When you gotta' go, you gotta' go.

I made my excuses, left the van--slamming the door behind me--and ran for the store. When I reached my place of temporary privacy, I pissed ice cubes (but in great relief), then ran back, teeth chattering all the way, but congratulating myself for exposing myself to the cold only for as long as needed.

Wouldn't you know it, the van door stuck, and wouldn't open.

They don't allow dark tint in Canada, so through the very clear window, and even with the dimming light, I could see my mother-in-law laughing at me as I froze myself into a popsicle while doing my best to unlatch the door.

When the horn from the ferry blew calling for boarding, and as all the engines around me started to rev up, let me tell you, the cold became the least of my worries.

Well, we were in the middle of the line, and with time to spare the van door showed some mercy and came unstuck, allowing me to clamber in. My mother-in-law's laughter sounded all the clearer to my ears now that I was inside the vehicle.

I'm happy I made you happy, Mom.

Dang, it's cold today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're lucky. Here in Metro Manila the average temp's 29, and even when it's 23 it's still warm. I haven't worn a sweater here for almost 20 years.

But during the 1970s there used to be fog during the early morning in Quezon City, and during the 1980s temperatures would reach an average of 15 from Oct to early Feb. It was even better decades ago when Manila was like Tagaytay during the '80s. Now, it's 30 on average year round.

I read that global warming has undone the cold weather and that Manila is getting hotter each time. The ave. temp now is almost the same as that during summer. Even the storms are less frequent: only four or five a year (it used to be double that), they bring less rain, and they now appear at the tail end or even after the rainy season. One news report states that Manila, Sydney, and other countries will be experiencing severe water shortage problems in the long term.

The same is taking place in other countries now experiencing record droughts, desertification, and the loss of cold weather.

9:49 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hi anonymous. Sorry, my bad, I wasn't clear. I am in Metro Manila now, and today's cold took me by surprise. I've gotten so used to the heat that today's chill took me by surprise. I do remember the 80's having more frequent cold spells. But you're right. There are more warm days than cold days now.

10:25 PM  
Blogger banzai cat said...

Hehe I could trade cold stories abroad with you, kyu. But suffice it to say, I'd rather do it over a cup of hot coffee rather than typing this in a airconditioned office. Brr!

1:02 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

I'm game, Banzai Cat!

3:50 PM  

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