There is snow in Vancouver. I haven't seen fresh snowfall or felt below zero temperatures in a while. Almost forgot how refreshing it is to feel a cold breeze in the morning, while hurriedly walking towards the public transit.
Canada is often perceived as the cold, snowy country up North, even in European minds. It's interesting to see how American stereotypes coming from popular culture get ingrained in people's minds beyond the ocean. Whenever I visit Europe or our Southern neighbour, I have to explain how different it is here compared to the expectations.
Vancouverites are not used to snow and it's dangerous to walk outside. The streets and sidewalks are covered in ice, the cars usually don't have winter tiers and watching them go uphill turns my stomach. And, due to my instincts being subdued in this unusual climate, I also forgot how to walk on ice properly, earning a few scratches and painful joints.
It's interesting to see how I'm slowly losing my learned behaviours and habits while becoming more local. Sushi has become fast food, mountain views an ever-present background to the mundane, English has taken over my thoughts. Chatting with a Polish friend over tea, I can't find the cultural references at the tip of my tongue, slipping into more Ponglish every day.
I wonder if there comes a time when I'll start to identify as predominantly Canadian. Growing into my new culture and its norms has brought a lot of benefits, mostly around my stress levels and amount of complaining. I may also just be maturing, getting out of the fog of twenties that made my lifelong goals seem so far in the future there was no point in worrying about them - yet suddenly they are here. Suddenly it's time.
I wonder if I'll ever be able to separate becoming Canadian from coming of age.