Winter Terror

Have you ever been scared while driving? I remember driving back home one winter night in Toronto. A blizzard was passing through the city. Snow and ice everywhere – including the road, making it slippery. Make a sharp turn and your car is likely to skid and you’ll get into an accident. Slow turns are safe turns. The worst part was that my car didn’t have winter tires and regular tires don’t have a strong grip on slippery roads. I had forgotten to put winter tires, I thought snowfall would come later but that night it came in spades.

The winds were so strong and fast, I thought the car would fly away. When the weather is nice, I always overtake slower moving vehicles. But during a blizzard, you have to think twice. And if you want to brake, you do so very slowly and gradually – same goes for acceleration. Accelerate too fast and you’ll slide into oblivion. Brake suddenly and the brakes might not even work.

A scary scenario is when someone in front of you brakes suddenly. That means you have to brake suddenly too but sometimes on slippery roads, your brakes might not work and you’ll bang right into that person in front of you. Luckily, I was driving on an empty road. I had to drop a friend home. Her life depended on me. My life depended on me. Both our lives depended on the weather.

I also had to drive very slowly. Imagine a baby learning how to crawl. That was me on the road. And it was snowing so much that it made it difficult to see what was ahead. All I could see was darkness and blurry snow.

We both made it home safely. That was the most scared I have ever been while driving.

Oh and I’d also like to talk about the time when I had to fill up the gas in my car. It was winter and I’d forgotten my gloves at home. The temperature was below -10 °C. As I held the fuel dispenser in one hand, the other hand was firmly in my pocket so that at least one hand could be warm. I kept switching hands every five seconds so that no hand would get frostbite.

Whichever hand was unlucky enough to be out was assailed by snow. Even though I was alternating hands, I could feel the snow latch itself onto both my hands, it felt like the first step to becoming a snowman. Snow looks pretty when it falls, it looks pretty as it decorates your hand, but if you are the owner of that hand, it is a painfully chilling experience.

I never liked Canadian winters and don’t miss them one bit.

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