Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Manitobans Are Delightfully Stubborn

So I have lived in Manitoba for nearly 3 years now. The first year for anyone is really more of some sort of test. Everyone is just waiting to see if you survive your first winter before they initiate you as an honorary Manitoban (if you stay that long.) The thing you will hear most in your first year will be "So why did you move to [insert Manitoba town name here]?" I found this question extremely annoying at first but the longer you stay here the more you realize people really want to know. It's not just the harsh winter you need to worry about in your first year either. You will be going through some sort of culture shock. Even if you are just moving from elsewhere in the country you need to make your away around your new town, make new friends and acquaintances, get used to how long prairie days are, and learn a whole new wet of local jargon.

When you move to Manitoba it will go one of two ways:
1) You come face to face with Manitoba and decide you need to get as far away from here as possible, ASAP
2) You find something in this harsh terrain that keeps you here

I know I love the ever-changing farm land, the long days, the clear starry nights, sparkling hoarfrost covered trees, and the friendly people. One thing that comes as a surprise though is that I also love how stubborn the people are here. I love that ice cream vendors are open March to October, and even if it is 5 below people will be lined up outside with their breath crystallizing into ice clouds, while wearing capris and t-shirts. It darn well better be summer, because we say so! The truth of the matter is that Manitoba does not have a season called summer. The seasons are as follows: Winter, Tick Season, Mosquito Season, More Winter. That never dampens the spirits of Manitobans though. We like our ice cream, and our slurpees... and we will walk to the 7-11 in 40 below!

In my three years here, I have learned what freezing rain and snow drifts are. I have made new friends. I have taken to going to the 'Peg as many weekends as I can. (It really is the only city in Manitoba.) I have survived all of the Manitoba seasons. I have learned to love the vastness of the prairies and the deep blue of summer skies. I have developed a higher tolerance for wind. I have learned to navigate without mountains and tell the time by the sun. I have driven swathers and combines. I've learned everything I have ever wanted to know about canola and more. I've discovered the art of driving politely, and somehow managed to avoid learning the Bootstrap Boogie. (Manitobans tell me it is super easy, but maybe I am just uncoordinated!)

I love Manitoba. Seriously! *finishes ice cream*

2 comments:

  1. "Decide you need to get as far away from here as possible, ASAP" LOL.

    There are so many places in the USA that are exactly like that (the Bible Belt, among others). I always thought I could live ANYWHERE but then I moved to places where the politics feel so stifling and the social norms are so backwoods neanderthal I feel like I cannot BREATHE.

    *Better to move away in such scenarios.* Gotta feel like you can shake your tambourine and wave your many colorful scarves. Ya know?

    Freezing rain can be super entertaining. Can't it? (I have watched a big and burly cop attempting to walk across a road on an incline and he kept falling down on the ice.)

    LOVE THIS PART: I have learned to love the vastness of the prairies and the deep blue of summer skies... I have developed a higher tolerance for wind.

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  2. Thanks for the feedback. I think each place has a personality and you need to find one that suits you!

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