Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wintery Frustrations

CD in Play: Carbon Dating Service, Polyentendrii

I am native to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (as opposed to being a British Columbian Native, or First Nations) and am used to comparatively mild winters to those experienced by other Canadians throughout the country. Everyonce and while, however, we get blasted by winter's fury and have to deal with the ensuing havoc. This year has been one of those years.
Canadians from across Canada will scoff at the complaints of British Columbians (particularly Lower Mainlanders and Islanders) when the snow hits here. For those non-Canadians amongst my readers, there is nothing that Canadians love more than to engage in winter horror stories one-upmanship. You see, for every Canadian living outside of BC - no one endures worst winters than any given Canadian does in his or her given geographic region. Montrealers can't believe that people in the Prairies could possibly know worst winters than they do and people from Saskatchewan belive the same. Hell, I lived outside Moose Jaw in Southern Saskatchewan for two winters - lived in Montreal - had Grandparents in Edmonton, Alberta - travelled extensively through the mountains - stood on the frozen solid Yukon River in Whitehorse - and Saskatoonians are still dismissive about my wintery credentials. Why? Becuase I haven't experienced a Saskatoon winter yet.
Yes, it all gets quite silly. Personally, I figure Newfoundlanders probably endure the worst of all winters in Canada. Stormy blasts of snow, ice and wind, the maritime cold that sinks through your skin and settles on the bone. Grim indeed. But here in BC we don't get frequent boughts of snow, which makes things worse. People move here from other countries thinking that they won't have to deal with snow - wreaking havoc on the roads when they are unexpectedly confronted with it. They also don't know how to dress for it. But then the same can be said for the out-of-provicials who move here believing everything they see off of postcards. National propaganda and stereotypes make us out to be British California, with a balmy, sun-drenched climate. And the climate is drenched alright, but usually with rain for months on end. (anyone in the UK would be able to relate)
The out of provincials move here and don't understand that they still need to take care in the winter here - that snow here is just treacherous as snow there and maybe a bit more so. We have different conditions and situations - we have hills, big ones at steep angles. Our snow tends to be wetter and heavier. But I say all this and it won't make a lick of difference when I get back to Saskatoon. The cold out here can't kill you quickly and no other explanations will ever suffice. The weather has kept me from seeing two good friends because the roads are so treacherous. I say this whilst having access to a 4x4 vehicle, by the way. Yes the roads are that bad. I usually love snow in the Lower Mainland - it feels and sounds (and smells) the way snow should. But this winter it has been nothing but an extremely frustrating pain in the ass.
Itis beautiful though, so I will end this post with a photo shot by my Dad when he was visiting people in the Gibsons area. (that's where The Beachcombers was shot)


Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

So sorry we never got to hook up while you were here, Magnus.

For what it's worth, I lived half-an-hour north of Saskatoon from September 1987 to April 1988, and I loved the winter there. The snow was so much drier and easier to deal with than the wet, semi-frozen slush that we have to deal with here in Vancouver. I have since often dreamed of having a winter home in Saskatchewan, and most of my visits back to that province have taken place during that same basic timeframe.

27 December, 2008 20:30  

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