woensdag 18 mei 2011
Lode haalt de krant
Het regent al dagen aan een stuk. Niet zomaar een beetje nattigheid, nee nee ... het GIET! Onophoudelijk, dag en nacht. De mensen spreken de laatste tijd over niets anders. De krant staat dagelijks vol met analyses en lezersbrieven. Ook bij mij borrelt al een tijdje de drang om er iets over te schrijven. Enkele dagen geleden was Myriam mijn gemekker beu en zei ze: “Schrijf er dan gewoon een column over en stuur het naar de krant, wie weet publiceren ze't wel.” Zo gezegd, zo gedaan.
Toen ik vanochtend bij de koffie de krant open sloeg, viel de mok bijna uit m'n hand toen ik mijn tekst integraal gepubliceerd zag. Voor de liefhebbers, hieronder de tekst (in het Engels).
It is rumoured that Canada has a summer
So there we were, new immigrants from Belgium ready to leave the Moncton airport for our temporary house in the hub city. It was Sunday February 27, just hours after the region was hit by one of the biggest winter storms that season. The flight the day before had been cancelled, we learned on the airplane from a couple stuck in Montreal. I remember driving out of the underground airport parking in our rental car. We were surrounded by two impressive walls of snow, about 5 feet high. We couldn't see a thing, just that solid pack of snow and the car in front of us. I looked at my wife, and then we both looked at our two young girls in the back. “What have we done?”, the expression on our faces seem to read.
Since our arrival in New Brunswick, we had our fair share of weather burden. In the first week, we were pounded with another 30 cm of snow, a week later, more snow and slippery roads. We had to get used to the piles of snow everywhere: in front yards, parking lots and on sidewalks. When I showed pictures of the Moncton streets to relatives in Belgium, they honestly thought I had photoshopped the images! Gradually, temperatures rose but even after several warmer days, the snow survived. Amazing how slow it melts! Weeks went by and April set of with a fresh layer of snow on our driveway. Every single Monctonian was now hungering for warmer weather, including these four new inhabitants. No luck yet, because Old Man Winter had one last surprise that last days of April: a full-blown snow storm. Now how's that for getting into summer mood?
But we survived and boy, were we ready for the warm weather now! Our summer clothing was unpacked and sandals revealed. Unfortunately, the mercury was going up only to about 4 of 5 degrees. And then off course the rain started. And more rain, and more... Sure, we knew about the harsh winters and unpredictable weather in New Brunswick. But living it instead of reading about it is quite different. What makes things worse is the fact that Belgium enjoyed the hottest spring in years. Sunny days and temperatures well over 25 degrees don't really help to put things into perspective.
But let me finish on a positive note, because I don't want to write a negative rant. We really like it here and even with temperatures well below zero, we enjoyed a lot of bright sunny days. I had to grab my sunglasses in the first week, imagine that! What's more: everybody assures us it's been a very harsh winter and temperatures in May are below average.
“Dad, when will summer start?”, my oldest daughter asks once a week.
“Soon honey”, I always reply.
So please, dear reader, reassure me and my girl that this all will pass and we can enjoy warm and sunny summer days in the very near future.