I’m not normally the sort of girl who finds herself stuck for words.
However, as I clung to a lamppost this afternoon while the wind howled around me in an effort to fling me into the middle of the road, with my feet sliding about underneath me and the blizzard stinging my face and making it difficult to breathe, I must confess that words did not come easily.
“Hhhhhh…. gaaaaaa….. uggggggg….” I spluttered eventually, letting go of the lamppost and allowing the snowstorm to hurl me effortlessly across the road, where I came to rest in a large snow drift. Riho gazed mournfully at me from the other side of the shopping centre’s glass door as I fought in vain against the driving snow that refused to let me climb the three steps to the safe haven of Indoors. “I told you so,” he mouthed through the glass, looking glum and slightly shell-shocked, having abandoned me some time earlier as I struggled to cross a road. It is every man for himself in these conditions, and I am not entirely convinced that I’m even vaguely likely to survive, to be honest with you.
I’m still excited about the opportunity to experience new and different things, don’t get me wrong. I still love snow, and winter, and all that sort of stuff. It’s just that, until today, I don’t think I really had any idea exactly how new and different the Estonian winter would be to me, despite Riho’s grim warnings.
I can’t quite describe how utterly wild it is out there today. If I had a small child, I would be seriously hopeful fearful that it would blow away; as it is, I did become a little panicky when the wind swept me along and I simply skated, powerless to stop or change direction, and unable to even see where I was going because of the blizzard. It has not stopped snowing all day, and it is not just “snowing”, either – snow is coming down from the sky in torrents, sweeping across the land in sheets, being whipped from the ground and tossed upwards, whirling around in the air and piling into huge drifts. It is snowing vertically, diagonally, horizontally, up, down, across and around. It would be like a snow globe, if the snow globe was being shaken vigorously by a child in a temper tantrum, who had the energy to keep up the shaking without a break for over 24 hours.
The snow hits you in the face with a ferocity for which I was completly unprepared, stinging your skin so sharply that tears stream down your cheeks, and making you involuntarily splutter things like “Hhhhhh…. gaaaaaa….. uggggggg….”. It is impossible to complete a word, because the iciness of the wind both snatches away the sounds from your lips and makes breathing so seriously problematic that it requires all of your concentration.
So, it seems that winter is going to be an interesting experience.
One additional small concern is that the temperature today was something like -3°C. And I don’t want to sound like a wuss or anything, here, but… well… if that’s what -3° feels like, what does -25° feel like?!