It has been hanging around the -20F range the last few days. I’ve added a second jacket underneath my puffy down jacket. I find myself wearing gloves if I’m going to be outside for any length of time. Occasionally, I’ve switched from a ball cap to a fleece beanie. Which has thrown everyone for a loop. We are slowly all getting to know each other, and I am apparently unrecognizable without one of two ballcaps or gravity defying hair when my cap briefly comes off in the galley.
However, earlier this week it was unseasonably warm. Mid-day there is still typically blazing sunlight. The days are getting shorter, but there is still plenty of daylight.I can see the Royal Society Mountain range just across the water. 30 miles on a clear day here is “just across.” Sunny and without a wisp of wind. The saying here goes “if it’s -20 and it ain’t windy, it ain’t bad.”
So I ducked out of work and wandered home to change to get on a treadmill and channel my inner gerbil. I stopped and stared at the mountains for a while. There’s no way to climb them, but I can’t not look. 10 minutes later, I found myself walking to the gym and had to stop and stare again.
I started chuckling. I spent a couple minutes staring at the hills. In shorts. It was about 4F and I was happily just hanging out in shorts and a puffy jacket. It was quite lovely. Guess I’m going native.
The natives here also love theme parties. Really, they love anything to break up the monotony. This week was “unicorn night” at the pub. It was also a two day weekend. By working a little extra each day, most folks will get a two day weekend once a month or so through the winter. Spirits were especially high.
There were grown men, grizzled men with big beards and dirty hands, with make shift paper horns on their heads. They sat at the bar in their usual manner, drinking their usual beers, in their usual groups, just with paper horns strapped to their noggins. Instead of bowls of pretzels, there were bowls of generic Fruit Loops and cupcakes. The young ‘ens also had paper horns, although some had significantly more elaborate costumes. There was a dance party on the opposite side of the bar from the old salties. Two polar opposite groups in the same pub, forever linked by half-assed unicorn adornments. Well that and the fact that we’re about to spend the Antarctic winter together. A little of column A and a little of column B.
“That’s a second season dress” I was told regarding a young woman of the dance party team, implying that she clearly had put some forethought into bringing down such a sparkler. No first seasoner would have thought to.
“Sure didn’t see that coming.” I replied.
“Wait til it gets deep.”
“Deep winter. Wait til deep winter. Shit’s gonna get weird.”
Perhaps I should resist going native after all.