Yesterday was a bust.
It was cold out when I left the house. Not like, "I'm gonna die" cold. More like "gosh my fingers hurt after thirty seconds outside of my sleeves" cold.
I always compare the weather here with the weather in central Alberta, where I grew up. The temperature is never as extreme. But here's the thing I have to remember: when I lived in Alberta things were different. I had a completely different lifestyle. I never ever walked 2.3km to get anywhere. And here I do it twice a day between the bus stop and my house.I never waited outside for the bus either. I had a car. They plow the roads in Alberta. They don't here. People know how to do winter in Alberta. They don't here.
-9 degrees Celsius is really tough here.
I should have just stayed home; called in 'snow day'. Instead, I psyched myself up (literally telling myself "You can do this."), put on layers upon layers of clothing, and went about my day as usual. I waited at the bus stop for 25 minutes out in the blustery cold, but hey, it's winter right? Suck it up, buttercup. It was fine.
I got to work...which was totally dead so I left after a few hours. Victoria is like a ghost town when it snows and yesterday was no exception. And it was really starting to come down out there.
The 12:00 bus was super late, and when it arrived at 12:35 around thirty people got on with me. The bus was completely full by the next stop. I'm talking double decker full, which hardly ever happens. It holds over a hundred and twenty people.
And, long story short, my twenty minute bus ride took four hours.
The traffic was so bad.
I'm looking at various news reports right now, and they're saying stuff like "literally countless traffic accidents occurred" because "police stopped taking calls for minor fender benders", they barricaded a bunch of main streets for "snow related closures" throughout the city, and along my bus route "a dozen or more vehicles were involved in a chain reaction pile up".
It was such a mess.
After a couple hours on the bus with a hundred people, you start to make friends. I was lucky, I got a seat upstairs. There were probably forty people packed like sardines in the stand-only area downstairs. ("Standees", the bus driver called them.) Some people had to pee. I was really hungry though. Some people had packed whole lunches and stuff. My seat neighbor was eating a roast beef sandwich so I didn't ask to share. But if it were veggie...maybe I would have.
I read about a hundred pages in my book, stared out the window, laughed along with others' jokes about a hundred car pile-up that wasn't even funny, texted people about where I was now, and played an entire game of Tetris on my phone. And we still weren't there!
It really doesn't sound that bad on the outside but...have you ever taken a city bus for so long you've wondered what happens if it runs out of gas? Have you ever been in traffic that literally took half an hour to go two blocks? It was mentally exhausting. It's really hard to explain...I felt so trapped and there was nothing I could do because that was my only way home. And I really wanted to be at home.
Finally, after almost four hours we made it past...nothing. Just all of a sudden the traffic was normal. It was so weird. Ryan told me he read that it was the traffic lights in the city themselves, and the ultra slippery roads that was causing people to slide, not be able to get going for an entire traffic light's length of time, and then have to stop again right away. That, plus the mass exodus of people trying to get home early and all the little fender benders...ugh.
When we made it to my stop, I phoned Ryan right away and shouted into the phone "I'M FREE!" but then had to hang up in a hurry because it was FREEZING out and my hand was too cold to hold the phone. I walked home. The wind was so strong my hood wouldn't stay on my head and I had to hold my hat down too. I thought my chin was going to get frostbite, and for the first time in years I wished I had worn a scarf.
When I burst into the door twenty minutes later I was so exhausted and hungry, and my hands were so cold that I couldn't unzip my boots. I literally sat on the floor and just started crying.
Terrible stupid day.
Hey, my coffee's ready. And it's my day off. And all I have to do today is lay under blankets and watch movies with my cat.
Things are lookin' up.