Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sum Sum Summertime

There is a difference between how summer is viewed here and back in Chicago. Here there is an urgency that once the weather turns nice it must be enjoyed. Drop everything and get outside. It's understandable because the nice weather is two to four weeks shorter. Here the warm weather (above 70F or 21C) more or less lasts from June to August, while in Chicago it spills over into May and September. The flurry of activity outdoors is impressive. There are constantly families bicycling past the front of our house on the weekend. The rush hour traffic drops dramatically as so many people go on vacation in addition to the kids being out of school. The construction industry shuts down for two weeks at a time you would think they are trying to get as much work done as possible. All of the vacation spots (camping notably) within Quebec are booked solid. While there is no time off in August, June 24th and July 1st are days off (St Jean Baptiste & Canada Day respectively). For those of us in construction, combine those two days with the two weeks and you have quite a chunk of time off within five weeks to enjoy the weather. Also, we're in a climate you would expect would not be conducive to outdoor swimming, but it seems like three quarters of the houses have a pool. One thing that clued me into the urgency is that last year the weather was not very nice on the weekends all summer. There was a malaise that hung over the summer and people have not stopped talking about how bad it was. It is possible that it was due to the bad weather last year that people have felt more of a need to take advantage of the weather while it was here. But I still think it is due to the long winter of staying indoors that people feel the need to get out. As of today we have had 10 or 11 days above 86F (30C) in June as opposed to only one last year.

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