Why Canadians Fly South For the Winter
10.02.2008 - 10.02.2008 -10 °C
It’s a mostly clear day, the blue sky creating a false sense that the day is a good one, until you walk outside. The sun may be shining, but the temperature is -10 Celsius, with a bone-chilling wind cuts right through your skin and chills your insides. I tug on the zipper of my jacket and hunker down, trying to cover as much of my neck and chin as possible.
Just two days ago the weather was warmer, 2 degrees above freezing, causing the 30 centimeters of snow on the ground to start to melt, which mixed with road salt and dirt to create a dull gray slush on all the sidewalks. Just two days ago, the citizens of Toronto were hopping gingerly over giant puddles of slush and water, trying not to get their pants legs wet.
Today, with the temperature dropping down below freezing, the slush has frozen into a uneven and slipper carpet on the sidewalks. The citizens shuffle along slowly on the icy surface, trying not to slip and fall onto the hard ice.
I drop my head and walk against the headwind, returning a movie to Blockbuster before heading into the local pub for brunch. After finishing up my lunch, I put back on my heavy coat, gloves and hat and leave the warmth of the pub to face again the blistering wind.
I return home and endeavor to spend the rest of the day inside watching TV. At 5 o’clock the PBS station from Buffalo is showing an episode of Pilot Guides (called Globe Trekker in the USA) where the host is travelling Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada and Dominica. I see the blue ocean, beautiful beaches, colonial towns and people wearing shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops.
I think of my time down in Trinidad and Tobago earlier this year, and my father, who is currently down in Florida, and wonder why all of us Canadians don’t spend our winters somewhere sunnier and warm than chilly Canada.