It's been a really interesting week for driving.
The combination of the never-ending snow and the mercury consistently hovering between -20 and -30C, with a nasty windchill thrown in for good measure, have meant that the roads have been permanently stuck in what is known as "winter driving conditions". Add to that the approximately 370 million cars that are on Calgary roads at any given time, futilely spinning their tires at intersections, and you end up with a road system comprised entirely of perfectly polished black ice.
Here is what a week of commuting (or as I like to call it, confronting my own mortality) on this highway of ice have taught me:
1. How to count backwards. Counting down the numbers of times left in the week that I have to either drive the Resident Offspring to school or pick her up has kept my countdown skills sharp.
2. If they tell you it's going to take twice as long to get where you are going, assume it will be three times as long.
3. If the road conditions dictate that I should be driving 45 km/hr in a 60 zone, I will fucking drive 45 km/hr. I don't care that you would rather go racing past me, fish-tailing out of control on the ice. Do that in your own lane.
4. The Resident Offspring has a freakishly high vapour content in her breath. Whenever she is in the vehicle, the back windows frost completely over, despite the fan and the heat blasting on maximum in both the front and the back. And yes, the A/C is on.
5. If you mention your Winnipeg winter driving training, all of a sudden everybody in the room is from Winnipeg. And we all puff out our chests and brag about our ability to maneuver our urban assault vehicles nimbly along two narrow strips of black ice, just wide enough to hold the tires in between packed snow that all but scrapes the bottom of the car. A common phrase is they don't even know what square tires are in Calgary, said with a derisive snort.
We ex-pat Winnipegers are inexplicably proud of coming from a place that tries its darndest to kill you for at least seven months of the year.