The cold water that runs from our tap in my small town is ice cold. Colder than it needs to be. I think you could sterilize a scalpel in this water. Even on the coldest night back in So Cal, I've never experienced tap water running this cold.
When I wash the rice (yes, you're supposed to wash rice before cooking it) my hand gets numb at the about the second rinse.
I usually turn on a bit of hot water to even it out, so I can retain some feeling in my phalanges while performing the wash.
Washing the rice (or anytime I have to expose my hand to freezing water) always reminds me of my good bud, Jon Lue.
I've known Jon since about the 3rd grade. We called him "Loogie" for two reasons. One, his last name was just begging to be made fun of, and two, he could hock a loogie like no one on this earth. I once saw him gag one up and hurl it from the free throw line to the backboard on the playground.
He was that good.
Jon was also the stick-your-hand-in-ice-water-to-see-how-long-you-can-stand-it-experiment champion in my high school biology class. Cold water didn't seem to bother him. We all pulled out after a minute or so. Jon went into a zone and must have left his body, because 4 or 5 minutes later, he was still standing beside the teacher's desk, hand in the bucket, face not showing a lick of pain.
I bet Jon is the rice washer at his house.