A Canadian’s First Moroccan Winter PART I
It is with no small amount of bias that I claim Canadians as some of the nicest human beings on the planet. We do, however, have one small flaw, that being that we think we invented winter and conquered it.
Actually, Canadians can be what I have come to call Snow Snobs, in a lighthearted way, of course. As the ancestors of present-day Canadians found out in short order, winter wasn’t going to go away, well except for a few short months we covet called Summer. Not exactly original, I know, but we exalt those all-too short months just the same.
Then winter hits and Canadians get all macho. In spite of the fact that most people seem to forget how to drive when the first snowfall comes, we thumb our national nose at winter because well, we invented it, remember? With a great deal of outward bravado, we openly dare winter to bring on its worst, which it frequently does. Don’t be fooled though. Every Canadian I know harbours a secret, special hate for winter and all things snow, icy and cold. It’s a hatred borne from decades of shoveling, scraping, trudging, slipping, falling, breaking bod parts and just plain freezing. Then there is the endless routine of dressing and undressing our outer layers six or seven times a day. Honestly, it does your head in.
I’ve always been a bad Canadian. There, I’ve admitted it. I hate winter openly and I have never once claimed the slightest spec of interest in hockey, our so-called national sport. Winter and hockey can both take a flying leap. I’ve always felt that people who enjoy the cold and snow ought to be studied… by a team of psychologists. The older I get, the more intense that feeling has become.
Around Christmas you start to hear people releasing some of their pent-up winter hate but in a decidedly benign, Canadian way. They’ll say winter is great, if only it arrived Christmas Eve and left on Boxing Day. They laugh… we all laugh… and we’ve all said it.
Died-in-the-wool Snow Snobs, the truly crazy Canadians, will tell you that you just have to dress right and get out there and enjoy it! Find something you enjoy doing, they’ll tell you. They’ll tell you that winter is seven months long so you might as well get out there and have some fun, learn to love it. When I was a young girl I did all the Canadian winter rituals like skating and snow-shoeing. I even cross-country skied. Do you know what happened? I grew out of it! The insanity wore off when I realized that I actually don’t enjoy standing in -35 Celsius weather for an hour waiting for a school bus. Frozen feet and numb fingers aren’t actually fun, no matter how properly you’re dressed.
So if the Snow Snobs approach you, be wary, don’t listen to them. Take my advice and stay inside where it’s warm. Pour yourself a glass of wine and observe winter from the warmth of your super-heated living room, the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Winter is actually a great spectator sport!