Igloos and volcanoes

The winter air in Montreal had been colder than ever this week. Cindy and I had errands to run around town, which meant braving the sharp clutches of the almighty cold. Every exhale was a spear of white frosted air, our noses were frozen with crystals of frozen snot, and my breath condensed into icicles in my moustache. This was crazy. This kind of cold, around -20 degrees, gets uncomfortable very quickly. Even the warmth of the subway system is unpleasant when you’re in-and-out of the hot and cold conditions all the time.

Last weekend was Igloofest, a night-time music festival held at the Montreal old port to celebrate DJ sets and embrace the winter. It runs for a few weeks during January, and attracts hordes of Montrealers eager to dance under coloured lights and drink hot wine in their bulkiest jackets and beanies. A strange experience, knowing that Big Day Out back home was positively sweltering. The stage is ringed by bonfires and small igloo castles, some big enough to climb and slide down. I even found myself in an official game of tug-of-war-on-ice, one of the many mini-games on the grounds. Wear good boots; you will get muddy.

With the prospect of an equally cold February ahead of us, and nowhere to live during this month, Cindy and I are about to unleash the ace up our sleeve, our escape plan, a ticket to Costa Rica for a month. “We’re in this part of the world, why not!”. It’s 3am and we’re at the airport waiting for our flight, eager to spot macaws and squirrel monkeys, trek jungles, lay on sunny beaches, run from biting ants, climb volcanoes, and swim in the ocean for the first time since Cambodia last August…


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