Here it is, mid-august and as I’m walking around I notice jackets, boots, school suppliesvand Hallowe’en junk already in the windows and aisles of retail stores. I know that in retail it’s good to be a month or so ahead, but I noticed they were beginning to push the “back to school” campaign before the kids’ vacation even started! I know that, like last year, next week some of the Hallowe’en displays will be replaced with Christmas displays. IT’S STILL AUGUST!!!!!!
We don’t get much of a summer here in Montreal and when we do, it’s usually hot enough with far too much humidity. Think about it. Five and a half months of winter versus maybe three months of summer. It just doesn’t seem fair!
And on top of it all, summer is the obstruction season, but then in the winter, construction sites are often abandoned, unfinished until the next spring. The roads always need fixing or are being fixed, but they are never truly fixed! The deliberate sea of substandard materials and a union with far too much power and mafia ties leads to a system that is completely corrupt and ludicrously slow. Why else should it take two years to build a bridge, but just two weeks to build an office tower, from groundbreaking to move-in!
In fact, there is such a tradition of half-assed road labour in Montreal that the city has nearly collapsed in on itself several times. All of the highways and bridges need to be replaced, but they can’t seem to do it in a way that doesn’t fatally corrupt the traffic flow of the city. Because of “construction” I’ve been stuck in a major traffic jam at midnight multiple times this summer.
So it starts with a slew of too many festivals, all vying for our attention and money, until we are all sick of festivals, then back to school as a euphemism for the end of summer/back to work/back into the slush/ice/snow /cold of winter. Sometimes I am proud to have been born on an island in North America. Why it had to be the island of Montreal is anybody’s guess, though.
Sometimes I think I should’ve been born in Los Angeles, California, into an extremely wealthy Jewish family (as opposed to a moderately wealthy Jewish family) and grown up without getting picked on by bullies and always having a girl on each arm who was willing to do whatever I wanted them to do. Reality is, if I would’ve been born there, I’d likely have been born illegitimately into a broken family, living in gangland and likely would have been killed in seventh grade. The killers would now all be wealthy and braggy, having gotten away with murder. I’m getting carried away here.
Even still, summer in Montreal is a fleeting season where an odd mixture of laziness and partying ensue. If it were up to me, we wouldn’t have winter, or so much humidity in the summer. Maybe I should just move to the desert.