The Sky in Canada has Diarrhoea

It’s snowing again. Sometimes I feel like I am about to get over my weariness of all this snow. The sun comes out, water runs underneath the huge white mounds everywhere that have grown and grown over the winter, but even then — it’s only to freeze and leave tiny skating rinks here and there. A few weeks ago, while helping my roommate film a movie for class, riding our bikes, I found myself suddenly lying on cold glass of what was supposed to be the sidewalk. It happened twice actually — only one of the times was almost on purpose. What amazed me the most was how quickly and painlessly I went from being on top of a bike, to being right down on the ground, sitting on my bum or lying on my back with the bike out in front of me. I imagine the long line of traffic waiting at the light had quite the time laughing at the show I was putting on. Thankfully my roommate and I were also able to have a good laugh, bent double, my sides aching, trying to imagine what I must have looked like. I only wish I had been filming at the time.

I’m tired of defrosting windows and sitting in a cold car waiting, shivering until I can see enough of the road to start driving. I’m tired of coats and layers. And what are the benefits of all this snow? We’re not even on top in the Olympics! At least the Jamaican bobsled team has nice warm beaches to go back to after their time at the Olympics, but us? We have snow; and a sky that has the runs and can’t manage to hold it through till the next autumn. Instead it’s intermittent dumps of snow, again and again and again. But really, I shouldn’t complain. Winter can be beautiful at times. I do enjoy seeing the trees after a fresh snowfall, or watching the sun glitter off the little ice crystals that blow in the wind some brisk mornings.

Every season has its ups and downs. Personally I prefer the ups and downs of summer, especially here in Canada where it never quite gets hot enough to suffer. Summer in Alberta is like winter in the Sindh — pleasant. But, I guess I’ll have to live through it, make the most of winter and try to enjoy it’s beauty, even when that beauty decides to attack my face every time I step out of a warm building.



Snow. Too much snow. I had my second snow day of my life a little while ago, when the roads around Red Deer were decided to be too dangerous to travel on. As a result, my Monday turned into a lovely Saturday, leaving us only two days of classes in the final week of the semester.

Canada is cold. No, it’s not frozen over all year round, and we don’t live in igloos, but when winter comes, no one can deny that it really is cold. Walking back from my car the other night I could feel the temperature quickly taking it’s toll on my body, despite my winter coat, and gloves. Looking into the dark woods beside the the road, I wondered how long someone would last in this weather without shelter. If they kept walking, maybe a day? I’m not sure if someone would make it through the night unless they did jumping jacks all evening. If they didn’t keep moving I doubt they would last more than several hours. I imagined myself huddled under some tree in those woods, trying to keep warm. I’ve often thought that drowning would be one of the worst ways to die, or burning to death, but dying of cold is certainly up there. Even the thought of being out all night made me hurry even faster to get inside.

Winter in Canada is no walk in the park. It would be much easier if people never had to get anywhere. However, for anyone driving, Winter makes sure you don’t avoid it. Between scraping fiercely at the windows and shivering in the seats, waiting for the heat to kick in, driving is a blessing you pay for dearly. Yesterday, while driving out my grandparent’s house I heard on the radio that the temperature that morning was -29, apparently feeling like -41 with wind chill. The day before that I had worried about my car as its engine sputtered to a start, ice on both sides of all the windows. Roads around town are lined with small walls of snow that the snow plows have left after they have gone through. Recently I’ve seen dump trucks and trailers around Red Deer, hauling huge loads of snow out of town. I’m sure at the other end of all those trips is the perfect place for someone to build a giant igloo!

Memories of driving in Pakistan are so different. I can remember my dad trying to park our car under the shade of a tree, if possible, in an effort to keep some of the midday sun off the car. When we would get into the car the metal buckles on the seat belts would almost burn our hands if we touched them as we shuffled our bottoms into the seats. For a brief moment there would be a frantic fight, as my siblings and I would whip the windows down as fast as we could and stick our heads out, trying to catch even the faintest breeze of air. That was Hyderabad.

But here I am, in Red Deer, in December. I joke with my friends, telling them that every winter my calling to go overseas becomes louder and clearer. I dream, but, for today, this is where I’m supposed to be – avoiding every opportunity to go anywhere other than my flat. Every country comes with its own set of trials. There’s not a lot of sense in wishing I was somewhere else, going through the pains that come with another place. Just like Jenna and the Troublemaker, I would probably end up coming back to my own ‘bag of troubles’ realising I’d rather not have anyone else’s.

Last night it was -38 in Red Deer. It’s amazing what such a small line before the temperature does. If it wasn’t for that silly little ‘minus’, I could be out in shorts and flip flops, probably complaining that it was a little too warm for my liking.