In May, I moved to Montreal from Vancouver. It was around 30 degrees when I got here, and it hasn’t dipped far below 20 degrees since. I’ve never experienced temperatures much below freezing, but when I look around there are clear signs that it’s going to get very cold very soon.
1. The squirrels are going bananas.
I live right beside a park. In the summer I would sit on a bench and look at the squirrels. They were skittish and shy, darting from tree to tree and not getting too close to anyone. Now, the squirrels are acting like crazy beasts because they can feel the cold coming and they must prepare. They are eating from garbage cans and charging around wild-eyed. Yesterday, one tried to eat my shoelace and I felt afraid.
2. Endless construction in my apartment building.
I am woken every morning by the lovely sounds of jackhammers and drills in the units beneath mine. They rattle my pens right off my desk. I guess the workers are frantically trying to get the building into shape before the snow rolls in.
3. People carrying coats under their arms.
Look around the next time you’re out a-walkin’on the streets. People are looking out their windows in the morning and thinking “hmm, looks a little frosty out there,”and putting on their coats. Within five minutes of walking, they’re taking the coats off and carrying them under their arms like big cloth footballs. Better safe than sorry, as they say.
4. People are eating more tacos.
I work in a taco restaurant. Like the squirrels frantically searching for nuts, people are also searching for some extra nourishment to warm their bones as the winter months approach. I’ve noticed a surge in taco sales in days when the weather is colder, and I don’t blame the people for seeking some comfort wrapped in corn tortillas.
5. People are suspicious when it’s particularly warm.
Recall how you felt as you watched the beginning of The Shining. You’d seen clips of Jack wielding an axe and screaming, but at the beginning of the movie it’s all smiles and laughter and pretty landscapes and you try not to let it lull you into letting your guard down because you know it’s going to get nasty. As I’m walking around on a sunny, 20 degree day in early October, I see the suspicion in everyone’s eyes. They don’t trust it. They’re glancing around uneasily, as they should be.
6. The inevitable passing of time.
Every single winter has been insanely cold in Montreal since they started recording weather patterns, and probably since the dawn of time. Using this data, I predict it will be cold this winter too.