Cold Resistance

It’s November and in some cities the weather is very cold and it’s even snowing. Cold weather reminds me lot of stories.


When I had to go in France for my studies, one of my uncles advised me to stay over protected from cold ; he told me to cover everywhere I can cover, even ears and nose. He also told me the story of his studies in Russia, how it was cold and how they had to dress. One of his friend one day didn’t protect his ears, outside it was so cold that the ears froze and get broken( I can’t witness… it’s his story). In my mind I was thinking okay Uncle no need to amplify your story, I am not going to Russia… I am just going to France. 

In France I was in the city of Saint Malo. Saint Malo is a small city on the Brittany coast of Northwest France, this city remind me Dakar at some point : the sea is all around.

The particularity of the winter in Brittany is that it doesn’t snow, or very rarely and it rains a lot. Additionally sometimes a very beautiful sun come and dance in the sky making you think from your window that summer is back. And several time I went outside with just a tee shirt , thinking that the weather was cool 😂😂. It took me time to understand that the sun in winter is an illusion or a mirage like the Water in Sahara desert!!! Stay covered! Never neglect a layer of clothe in winter season! Cold effet is real.

As my uncle, I also have my anecdote. My best friend and I were walking in the streets of Paris, in a cold December. It was just the beginning of the winter. We were protected. 

When we went outside this day it was not snowing but snow started to fall progressively. At the beginning we where talking , walking, laughing… then talking less and laughing less….. and suddenly out from nowhere my friend started to cry. Not the kind of silent cry. She just stopped walking and started to cry like a baby, with the tears, the snotty nose and the noise.

Imagine a twenty years old Lady crying in the street like that. 

My surprise was at the top level! From our childhood to now she was the stronger and less emotional girl! Some was asking if she had a heart like normal humans! In every situation she was the one who was calm and cool, finding solutions and now she was here crying like a baby.


She was looking at her hands and crying seriously! Then she said “I am loosing my haaaaands “😭😭😭 – Wait wait wait WHAT??? – “ I have no glooooooves “😭😭😭 “I am loosing my haaaaands”. You remember the story of the ears in Russia? Now I find it very plausible…

The scene was funny and Actually in other circumstances I would laugh at her but her pain was real. …“Put your hands in your pocket”… “I caaaaaaaan’t”… “I am not felling my hands anymore” 😱 “what? Okay try again… put your hands in your pocket. We are far from the shops , but we will arrive soon in the metro station and we’ll have some heat… you have to walk “


At the metro station she started to fell better I even don’t remember when she stopped crying , we bought some hot drink and then directly went to a shop to buy these precious gloves! Leather glove please .! So the tips in extreme cold are :

– Before going out have a look on the weather app

– You’ll better being too much protected than not enough, it is easier to remove layers of clothes 

– Never underestimate the temperatures in winter and never expect that the sun will bring heat.

I wanted to finish with winter anecdotes and I remembered that I spent a whole winter in Quebec City Brrrrrr. Actually Quebec story will be another topic but The winter in Quebec needs to be discussed here.
Few years later, I forgot the ear in Russia and the hand in Paris stories. I wanted to try studies in Canada and if everything was okay, I would may be install there and start a new life. What about the cold?? Well ! If the life is nice in Quebec, for sure cold will not be a problem….😂😂😂 the dreamer in me was talking….
So I was very excited to prepare this trip. The traveler in me was eager to move… as we say in my native langage my feet were scratching ( mean that I wanted to move). We arrived in Quebec city at the end of the summer. Beautiful sun, cool weather… I even wore my African clothes. The paradise. I didn’t take the chance to visit Quebec at this moment ; I was settling in slowly.
And the winter came… without transition…
Let me describe my apartment first. It was a semi basement apartment. Semi basement is below the ground floor, it simply means that your windows will be at the ground level : your eyes from the window level sees shoes and feet ……. I had no problem with that!!!
Until winter come….The first snow my apartment stayed dark during one week. No daylight! All the window was covered by the snow!! You can’t even open your window for aeration! When you are half claustrophobic it become a huge problem. Is this a life????
The cold in Quebec is Dry!!! And again you have this famous affirmation: it ‘s dry cold! Like it was supposed to be a good news.
I talked about dry heat?? Dry cold Under -20•C?? What’s the meaning of Dry here? Let me explain how I felt it. Under -20•C. Layers of clothes are so much, but it even doesn’t have effect. The winter in Quebec is the complete kit of cold: snow, wind, verglas . I am even felling cold while writing this. 

And the wind was so wicked! It is not the gentle wind like in France that hug you in the morning. No! This wind Slap your face ! Your eyes becomes teary… but tears don’t come out because the cold is dry 😂… and then your head burn inside because the slap is so painful. OH my God I’ve never imagine this even in my worst nightmares. And the two days snow become a verglas transforming the ground in a kind of ice rink. You’ll better having the right shoes and being balanced for skating in the ice otherwise you’ll fall down badly.

Every moment outside was a real torture. And at these moments you start asking yourself the WHY!! Why I am here?? Why did I came?? Does it worth it?? And then you feel soooo depressed 😂😂😂.

Quebec is actually the only city where I were without being there. I visited nowhere, zero, nada. From school to home and from school to home except necessity…. and I used to spend the whole week end cocooning. Inhibition took all its sense!The end of the winter corresponded with the end of my classes. I actually started the countdown months before and I even didn’t wait the end of classes to range my luggage, make my reservations for going back to France. Everything was ready! I finished my class one day and left Quebec the day after in a so happy mood . A part of me was singing NEVER THIS WINTER AGAIN !! So maybe I will go back to visit this city but never in winter and no plan of life there 😂
I am sure now we are not equal regarding to cold! And some persons like me have a very weak cold resistance.

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