I would like to describe to you how I felt on the first day of real winter in Montreal, Canada yesterday. As you know, Canada is a cold country. The Arctic where the Eskimos live is in our country. We used to have severe winter weather in Montreal in the early 1960’s. I experienced minus 35 degrees Celsius temperature soon after my arrival in this country 53 years ago. I remember that one day the temperature in one part of Canada plunged to minus 84 degrees. That day people’s moist breath froze in the air. I personally never complained of cold weather. I always said that fish that lives in water cannot complain of water. Similarly, we Canadians live in the land of the Eskimos. Hence we cannot complain of cold weather. Yet yesterday when the temperature fell to minus 27 Celsius with the windshield factor, I felt scared to go out. I am sure that I felt that way because of my old age.
I dressed myself like an Eskimo: layer over layer of clothes with a feather-filled long coat on the top, a thick hat covering my head and ears, and the warmest pair of boots that I have. As usual my wife pulled my scarf up to cover my neck and made sure that I wore my gloves which I do not like to use. I found my car completely covered with ice and snow. Because the ice on the car was hard as rock, I took one hour to clean the car. Fortunately the streets were cleaned by the City. This winter the City of Montreal will spend 160 million for removing snow from city streets.
I worked with my carpenter for five hours moving from one rental building of mine to another. On my return home I jumped into my bed and covered myself with heavy and warm blankets. Two hours later my wife and I drove to our daughter’s home on the mountain for dinner. In the evening I worked on my book for three-and-a-half hours before retiring for the night at 11:00 pm. As usual my day started at 5:00 the next morning.
I would like to assure you that in spite of its cold weather in the winter, Canada is the best country in the world. The temperature in all enclosed spaces– houses, cars, trains, shopping center, etc. –is always +20 degrees Celsius. Our summer and Fall are extraordinarily beautiful. In Canada we enjoy genuine freedom, almost perfect democracy, guarantee of all basic necessities of life–food, clothes, housing, education and medical care–, prosperity and peace. I invite you to come to Canada and participate in Canadian life with us.