Thursday, November 26, 2009

At least it's a dry cold

I don't recall which book it was in which discussed how most Americans have never experienced true hardship - cold, heat, hunger, etc. For most people, cold is the time between your car and the building. Same with heat. With very few exceptions, hunger is only experienced by Americans as "I need to go get something to eat," as opposed to "I haven't eaten for days."

During my time in the Army, I have experienced "true" cold - cold in which there was no foreseeable end in sight, when you are in the field, the cold lasts until you come back from the field, which on some occasions is days away. It sucks.

And yet, even with that experience, it wasn't until this trip here that I finally came to the realization that there is a distinct difference between a dry cold and a wet cold. Much like heat, the dry cold is much easier to deal with.

And the large proportion of this is because of the mud. Even in the States, when it's cold and rainy, and even when you are out in the field, there is still infrastructure, electricity, and (most important) paved roads. And roofs that keep the water out.

The last time it rained here, I discovered that my roof leaks. So not only was it wet and gross outside, it was wet and gross inside. And muddy - it sticks to your shoes, and collects on the back of your legs. Your shoes get both wet and dirty, your socks get wet and dirty. And the air is just saturated with wet. And dust.

The most recent rain dropped the average temperature here by about ten degrees. And did I mention it was wet? Three days later, the rain stopped, and it dried out. But it was still cold. And that was my realization that there is a distinct difference between a dry cold, which sucks, and a wet cold, which REALLY sucks.

It's still cold now, but at least it's a dry cold.

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