Like the Eskimos with their snow, if someone told me that the people of Patagonia have a hundred different words to describe this wind, I'd believe them. It's constant, overwhelming, all-encompassing. But a few adjectives don't do it it justice. Here are eleven ways I've come up with to try and convey what this Patagonian wind is like:
It’s tears-in-your-eyes, blow-your-hat-off wind.
It’s a suffocating blanket of bitter cold.
It’s always as strong as wind can be, until it becomes stronger, then remains at maximum strength, until it becomes stronger yet again.
It’s a wind of lost maps, ruined hair-dos, slamming doors, unintelligible conversation, unlit cigarettes, thick soup, and double socks.
It’s the wind that makes it make sense that birds can fly.
It’s one of those inanimate things you can’t help but humanize, only so you can curse at it angrily into the turned-up collar of your deficient coat.
It’s a harsh mother shooing a child back from an edge.
It’s a wind that makes you nervous about the strength of the roof and the weight of the car.
It’s a wind that forces itself into the beginning of conversations, an element so strong and omnipresent that it must be commented upon, vehemently and passionately, when you first start speaking with someone.
It’s a wind that strips away any attempt at image enhancement – a woman who is beautiful in this chaos is truly beautiful.
It’s a wind that lets you know you’re near the end of the earth.