I was, more than a few times, warned about the climate that I was about to walk into. Even though a plethora of adjectives were employed to make me understand ‘freezing’, never once did it occur to me that it would quite literally be a walk into a freezer. Movies have romanticized snow to an extent that it fills your heart with warmth and not the numbness that it should. The warmth I felt could also have something to do with the fact that I was watching those movies under the scorching sun, cooking myself to a medium-rare.
Thanks to the airline who lost my suitcase, which had in it my winter jacket, I got a front-row ticket to experience ‘chilled to the bone’ on the very first day. At that point, there was no wonder why almost every living thing, with the obvious exception of pines and humans, hibernate in the winter. When it got too severe, part of nature just shut itself down waiting to be awakened when their dear friend was back again with the warm hug that they were used to. But behind the thin veil of mist and snow was something serene, kept surreptitious. One had to get to an understanding with the imperious snow so as to enjoy the beauty that it had to offer.
Arriving at the house that I was supposed to move into, I quickly realized that my first day in the new country had not escaped the spell of bad luck that started with my first flight, of the three, being cancelled, the second being late, and the twelve-hour layover. Seeing the basement that had been “set aside” for me, the one that had “too many people fighting for”, I really did wonder if the guy who was on the other end of the phone understood the words that he spurted out so confidently. The worst thing was that he was from my place and that did put a huge dent in the trust factor.
With the first few hours here being not the very best, I started to falter. But things started to look better once I got a room at Ray Lawson. With the first day almost coming to a close, I stood at the window, looking at the storm still unabated, with a montage of the adventurous first day passing through my mind. The run-down house, walking the four kilometres to Sault college, the long walk downtown and back to the house only to walk back to Ray Lawson. Even though it wasn’t the best day the I have woken up to, it was the most adventurous, considering the fact that the only the things that I had going for me was the knowledge of the language a rambunctious will.