It reached 28 degrees yesterday!! (and I’m not talking Farenheit!) We’ve been told it does get cold here in the winter and judging by the state of things when we arrived in april, the trees lose their leaves at some point. The only problem is: we have no idea when this so-called winter starts.
I’m used to having warm weather at all times of the year but to Alan, the Canadian from Quebec, this is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. He’s never had warm weather for six months before and is extactic. Let’s not forget, weather defines the way the rest of the world views Canada and the way Canadians view the rest of the world.
Growing up in a country that still defines the world through a first-world vs third-world dichotomy, I expected when I moved to Canada that Canadians would not to be too interested in my third-world country. I didn’t count on the Canadian obsession with warm weather. Invariably, it went more or less like this:
Canadian: “So, where are you from?”
Canadian in a tone of shock: “WHY???”
Alex confused: “Excuse me?”
Canadian still shocked: “Why would you leave such a warm country with beautiful all-year-round beaches??”
I then quickly realize that although Canadians love their country and like some snowy weather once in a while, by January/February they are totally fed up. Most dream of retiring somewhere warm. They go to Florida or if they can’t get too far, move to Vancouver where it is said winter is shorter.
The rest of the world have a similar attitude. This is what I get from every single person I have met here – irrespective of nationality:
Foreign friend: “So, where are you from?”
Alex: “I’m originally from Brazil but I live in Canada now”
Foreign friend in a you-must-be-crazy-to-live-there tone: “Brrrrr, cold”
That’s it. No matter where they are from, no matter if they never actually been to Canada, everybody knows Canada is cold. And they are totally shocked when I tell them we have beautiful hot summers and that winter is not actually that bad. I don’t think they believe me.
Maybe that’s why Canadians are generally nice to people from other parts of the world: wherever they are from, winter must be milder and shorter!!
But you know what? I think this Brazilian will miss the Canadian winter and its snow…