Well, it’s happened.
I am slowly freezing to death.
I woke up this morning to minus 17, blue skies, and pure sunshine. There is something truly serene about days like this though, because not many people are on the streets and those that are, are so bundled that they walk awkwardly with their arms slightly separated from their bodies, with their heads down and boots shuffling.
My mail adventure went well last night (I know you were curious). On my crunchy march back through the snow, I realized I have been faking being Canadian these last 7 years. I mean, let’s face it Lower Mainland friends, that’s not real Canadian cold. Yes, yes, yes, the Vancouver cold is bone-chilling and humid, but it’s not minus fucking twenty and there is no snow blowing into your soul. The cold was chomping at my face yesterday as we did errands, in the dark, at 5:00pm.
You’ve got FLOWERS – just sayin’.
Something about living in winter-touched Canada, full-time (not for a one week ski bunny vacation with a hot tub) brings you into an exclusive club. Daily life is just different, and if you’ve never lived it, I think you probably should, or else you will be a fake-Canadian forever.
Some of what you’re missing:
- Snow is constant. It’s not a one day, premium event that halts all further city movement. It’s always cold and its always white (or brown … I guess).
- You must own a snow shovel and a bucket of salt, and clearing the sidewalk is your responsibility. You will be shunned and judged if you do not do this.
- Sounds. You wake to the sound of the plows working on the roads. That’s how you know more snow has come. This helps you judge how much earlier you should get out of that amazingly warm bed.
- Time. It takes at least 10-15 minutes of extra time to get out the door. You must heat up your car, remove the snow, remove the ice, pick the ice off the windshield wiper, defrost the windshield, and ensure you have ALL the layers.
- Cars. Cars are automatically sold with block heaters. Even still, sometimes, your car doesn’t start because you forgot to plug it in. Click, click, click. Ugh.
- Studs. No, not the hot men, the ones on tires. The sound of them is normal to you, and doesn’t cause stares of panicked distain or confusion.
- Tires. Speaking of tires, you must change yours in October and in April. If you do not, you suck, because while I can confidently stop with my winters, you are probably going to kill me with your all seasons.
Seasonal bonus! There is up to a 2 week waiting period to get your winter tires put on in October. Unless you want to go to Kal-Tire at 7am and wait in line for hours.
- Fun. You too can wait in a bar line in February, for your best friends birthday, in minus 10. Yes, you are wearing all the layers. You will not wait for more than 30 minutes though, because you will probably shrivel and shake out of existence.
- Boots. You must buy winter boots. Sure, you can wear those sexy, non-winter boots … but then you will have wet, frozen feet and you will probably slip to your death. Are you willing to die for those boots, ma’am? Plus, the salt will ruin them anyway.
In summary, non-fake Canadians risk death daily and create miracles by leaving their homes. Every time I got in the car yesterday I cried a little (a lot), as I waited again for my car to warm itself. But at least I looked cute in my toque!
Do you have winter stories? Are you a fake-Canadian or a real one?