It is Christmas day today, the sun is shining and all feelings of depression have dissipated. I try to walk down slippery streets. Every time I feel as if I am about to slide, I gesture my arms upwards, keeping balance, saving face. I haven’t fallen yet, but I almost fall at least fifty times a day!
But thanks to all this snow and ice I was able to go ice skating today on the top of Mont Royal. I haven’t skated since I was a teenager and that was inside a shopping center, with tragic eighties disco and top 40 hits blasting out of the speakers. It is much better to be outside in the elements.
Just a bit unsteady on my feet, I try to remember how to skate, taking off slowly, flailing for balance.
I skated around in circles on the frozen pond while the sun stressed down its last rays, the sound of skates cutting into the ice. I feel like daylight vanishes to the night way too quickly, but from now I am happy to say the nights will become shorter.
I know I have been extremely lazy in posting and at first I thought it would be a great idea to maintain a blog, as a kind of journal recording my experiences in Canada (MontrÃ©al). But I guess I have needed to adjust and take in the experience in order to write about it.
So tonight, je suis fatigue! I am tired! I had to work and I feel kind of run down. But I need to survive and the wages here are just that…survival wages! Its the same wage I was getting when I was fifteen! I am working really hardÂ and not getting much in return, just enough to live each day…pay rent, eat food. For the first time I feel lucky to even have a job, when you see people living on the streets or really struggling, you feel thankful you are not in that position.It took me five months to find a job, in the end it took to moving neighbourhoods and networking in new circles of people, and that it seems is how you find jobs in this city…going out and meeting people.
They say MontrÃ©al is a cheap city, but its not really, the rent is cheaper than other major cities, but groceries, transport and going out can be just as expensive as Vancouver. It may have been cheap to live here once (as it was in parts of Sydney and Melbourne), but for the world over things are getting more expensive as we try and keep up with this pseudo wealth…that’s why stock markets crash! But unfortunately now I can’t afford to visit and travel Europe, unless I miraculously stagger into lots of money, I only have fake money and I don’t think it is a particularly good time to run into debt.
Â Â se sent bizarre ce soir…tonight feels strange
Â It is so windy outside, its the kind of wind that knocks you over and has that kind of crazy vibe, where it is scattering energy around in all directions. Tonight as I was walking to work (or rather being pushed by the wind) I came across some people standing around a man who was lying face down in the snow. At first I thought he was injured, a lady was calling an ambulance and a man was asking if he was okay. But then he started flailing and screaming out motherfucker! and incomprehensible words and I realized hmm…meth head! Its kind of fucked up really and sad to see, he looked young, in his mid to late twenties. He could have frozen outside, he is lucky it was only seven degrees today. I guess that is the kind of bad you see in this city and it is a hard thing to see…its a kind of depression. Not to say it doesn’t happen in Australia, in fact Newcastle had the same kind of urban decay, and even Newtown to a certain extent. Extremely creative areas but poor struggling areas. (although Newtown is rather expensive now, it is more the memory of Newtown when I was young).
So I was feeling a little negative today.Â The rain had melted a lot of the snow and it is all wet and slushy,Â the ice that coated the trees sparkling silver has turned to wet drips. I cherish the site after a snow storm, everything looks pretty, especially when the sun shines through the ice, like crystals deflecting the light.Â But for the moment I can still hear wind gusting down the streets, knocking the pulleys of the high suspension clothes lines, making a clanging sound like an old ship sail.
Hopefully tomorrow will be calm and more uplifting and then I can write about the marvels of this city…the real winter magic!
Today it was -16 degrees!!! I thought that while I was outside my face felt frozen!!…but I guess the ice on the shop windows also gave it away. The strange thing is that when I left the house this morning I had no idea of the temperature, I thought it may have been -5 degrees. I didn’t realise it was -16!! I have never been this cold in my life!! I am used to a mild winter between 12-19 degrees and I am surprised that I didn’t feel colder than what it actually was.
But besides the cold, ice and snow are actually very beautiful things, the crystals form abstract designs and intricate patterns. Since I have been here in MontrÃ©al I have realised (for the first time ) that snow actually looks like the snow you see in cartoons and drawings, you really do see the distinct shape as it lands on you. You don’t need a microscope to see the pattern, but one certainly makes it look more intricate and magnificent. Oui! Truly a winter wonderland!