We land in Rankin Inlet. We’re given the option to stay on the plane or head across the tarmac to the terminal. However, they’re offloading cargo which means the cargo door on the side of this 737-200 is going to be open for a while.. We decide to head to the terminal. I put on my toque and coat. Pull up my hoodie and pull on my gloves. I pick up my laptop bag and tell myself I’ve seen this cold before.
I step off the plane and my breath is immediately stolen from me. -37, before accounting for the wind chill, is worse than I remember. I spend the entire 30 second walk gasping for air. I feel like I’m suffocating. I wonder if I should have stayed on the plane.
I didn’t find the translation book my mother asked for in the terminal, though we waited around for much longer than the 15 minutes we were told on the plane. Unfortunately, it does come time for us to get back on our way. I bundle up again and prepare to be assaulted. It doesn’t seem as bad as I leave the terminal. The wind is to my back. As I round the tail of the plane and turn into the wind so I can get up the stairs, the biting cold tears into the only exposed flesh on my body., my cheeks, nose, and eyes. The kid in the terminal wearing ski goggles had the right idea. I get stuck on the stairs for an excruciating 30 extra seconds as people file onto the plane and find their seats. I turn to deb as I get inside the fusilage and her face is bright red. I imagine mine is much the same.
I also imagine it’s going to be colder in Iqaluit