I’m Cold

When I was in grade six, one of my best friends, Jeff, told me that he was fed up with the “stupid canadian winter” and that he was going to move to Malaysia when he grew up. Back then, I thought he was being ridiculous. First of all, I thought that the -35 degree winter was the norm – and that people in places like florida were wussy. Secondly, I didn’t know what a ‘malaysia’ was, and had no idea why anyone would want to go there.

Since elementary school, I’ve left the frozen north, and have lived in Victoria for the past five years. The coldest weather I had to endure was -4. Winter meant rain, and grey skies. It meant I had to wear a sweatshirt, and waterproof my shoes, carry an umbrella and phone people in Ontario to laugh at them. This year, I’m that poor sap in Ontario.

When I went outside this morning, my boogers flash froze, my hair turned solid, and my face fell off. (Well, maybe the last part is an exaggeration, but I certainly couldn’t feel my face, so it might as well have fallen off.) When I checked the weather report, I found that it was -28 outside, -35 with wind chill. This was cold. Really cold. Colder than I remember cold being. Once I got to work, I started scoping out places that I could hibernate until it became humane to go outside again.

As it turns out, Futureshop policy prohibits employee hibernation. At least on site. Things were looking pretty grim until Brian pulled up in a preheated car to drive The Wife and I home.

I remember when I was younger, I used to walk to school in -42 below weather. No kidding. Me and all of my friends just threw on our toques, coats and gloves, and plotted off as if everything was normal. I thought I remembered winter being warmer than it really is. Having experienced it again, I have come to realize that I was just really stupid when I was young.

Since grade six, Jeff has told us every year how he still plans to move to Malaysia. We always just waved it off as random whining. I just got off the phone with Jeff. He still plans on going, and when he does, he’s agreed to book tickets for The Wife and I. This country is too bloody cold.

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I walked into a door today – and other reasons to dislike ontario.

Every grocery store that I’ve ever been in – ever – has had automatic doors. You walk towards the door, it opens, you walk through the door, it closes. This is an unalienable right of shopping as far as I’m concerned. This is part of the reason that I was so shocked when I went shopping at Food Basics this evening.

The other reason is that my nose hurts.

For some reason, doors here don’t open automatically. I have been able to accept that for most stores (drug stores, liquor stores, mall entrances, etc) because you come across stores like these with doors like those in your day-to-day happenings. But, as I mentioned, I have never met a grocery store door that didn’t open automatically. I suppose that I still haven’t, it was actually only my nose that met the door, but I got the message all the same.

There are some things in Ontario that just aren’t the same back home. Most of them you get used to, but it’s the little things (like walking into a door) that get to you.

Other things that I’ve noticed:

There is no Nalley’s chip dip.
In fact, if you want chip dip, you have a choice of 8 brands of French Onion. No other flavours exist (unless you count Zest French Onion, Garden French Onion, and French Onion and Herb as different).

Tim Horton’s does not accept debit cards.
Cash only. Since I was in grade 8, I have not carried cash with me when I go out. There has never been a need to. In Ontario, only sit down restaurants have debit machines. This means that I spend an awful lot of time holding a useless piece of plastic rather than eating a tasty tasty sandwich.

Everyone smokes in Ontario.
Some people might lead you to believe that the environmental problems confronting Ontario and Quebec are due to high population density, and automobile usage. In actual fact, it’s because 90% of the people here are walking chimneys. In BC I know exactly three people that smoke, all of home live in Prince George. At Futureshop, I believe that there are no more than 15 non-smoking employees out of a pool of 120.

Extra Foods Reigns Supreme
I’ve always been led to believe that Extra foods is the lowest of the low when it comes to quality of food. Apparently I’ve been pampered by the Save-Ons and Thrifty Foods back home. In Ontario, there are about 10 grocery chains. 8 of which are owned and operated by Presidents Choice and carry the same products as Extra Foods. Of the remaining two, one is affiliated with Canadian Tire, and the other doesn’t believe in automatic doors.

It’s a very strange world here.

Morning Methodology

Everyone has their morning rituals. Some of them are odder than others. In this house, we have the following:

Joe gets up far too early and has a glass of Tomato Juice and Cayenne pepper.
Julia begins each day with a small breakfast, and a short walk to the bus stop.
Meadow starts her morning by humping her food bowl (I think she needs to show dominance over her breakfast before eating it).
Kippy wakes up and chews my hair/sits on my head – indicating that she’s hungry.
I take the cat off my face, check my email and have a cup of tea.
Sarah gets up, stares at the wall for thirty minutes, and heads down to the kitchen for lunch.