Raindrops are falling on my… city

Rain is to Vancouver what snow is to Montreal. It’s the city’s trademark. You know it will come. You know that if you want to avoid it, you’d better move somewhere else. Yet whenever it falls from the sky, people don’t dress appropriately and keep complaining about it. Whining about the weather is our national sport, and for Quebeckers who think it’s reserved to your province, let me tell you that I discovered here it wasn’t the case at all.

After complaining about the snow that had been “paralyzing” Vancouver for weeks, the weather has finally turned. There is a rain warning in effect; it should rain for most of the week, therefore melting the snow. But people are still going to complain. It’s raining, we can’t go outside! With snow plugging the drains, there could be flooding! Well, I’ve got news for you: you could have shoveled the drains! And yes, it’s wet, but it’s also warmer (3 today, 7 coming up). And if you have good rain gear, you can definitely go on with your life.

That said, yesterday Zak enjoyed the last day of real snow by shoveling the sidewalk in front of our entire Co-op. In most of English Canada, unlike in Quebec, the city doesn’t plow sidewalks in front of private residences. Here in Vancouver, you have until 11 am on the day following a snowfall to shovel your own sidewalk, or else you can be fined as a snowy sidewalk can be dangerous for passersby (not to mention a royal pain in the ass – especially with a stroller). In our Co-op, the task of shoveling hasn’t been assigned to anyone in particular as it is so seldom needed. So when it snows, some nice person has to take the initiative to grab a shovel and clear the sidewalk. This time (like many other times, it seems), it was Zak.

He went during the day with our boy who, armed with his own little plastic shovel, worked on perfecting his personal technique. The difference is Zak takes the snow from the sidewalk and piles it up on the grass. Our son takes the snow from the grass and spreads it over the sidewalk. Luckily, the first one is much more effective and faster than the second one, so he wins the overall race. But they are very cute to see (I was the lucky witness of a similar exercise over the weekend).

Now it’s back to Gore-Tex shoes, pants and jackets, wide-brimmed hoods (I hate umbrellas) and backpack covers. As we say in Quebec, I’m not made of chocolate. I will not melt.

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