Hold onto your lugnuts

The wind blew so hard today that I walked to work at a 45-degree angle, with tears blowing out of my eyes and spit blowing out my mouth. Cyclones of dust rose from the ground and hit me in the face at periodic intervals, and I got blown off of my path and into incoming traffic more than once. I learned later the wind velocities reached around 80 miles per hour — and as I sit on my bed ten hours after that walk to work, I can still hear them rushing against the sides of my house. The people here are not nearly as alarmed as I am about this situation. As a matter of course, buildings are constructed to withstand 200 km winds and in towns like Punta Arenas, the central plaza contains rope fences for people to grab onto during especially gusty weather. On days like today, when walking to work sends me into helpless hysterics, Patagons simply zip up their windbreakers and say, “Es normal.”