| Current Toronto Time: 
FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer gets cold feet

March 20 or 21 marks the first day of spring and the official end of winter. However, anyone who has been here for any length of time will assure you that the first day of spring doesn’t really feel too spring-like!

As I look out at all the snow still outside, I am reminded of our first winter in Canada.

We came from a hot country, one where the fortunate few went to “hill stations” to see some snow if they were lucky.

For others like us, snow was something we saw only in song-and-dance sequences in Hindi movies! Or the “pretend snow” made of large puffs of cotton wool on storefront decorations for Christmas!

So our first snowfall was a source of major excitement not only for our children but also for my wife and myself.

“Let’s have a snowball fight!” I’d say one day. Or, “Let’s build a snowman!” after seeing some really fancy ones with scarves and hats in the yards of neighbours.

The snowball fight was easy enough. And lots of fun. But when we got into our newly-acquired winter gear and headed out into the yard to build a snowman, I learned that there were different kids of snow and that one required “packing snow” to build one. We struggled to pack enough snow to make something resembling a ball but failed miserably at each attempt.

I finally managed to press enough snow to make a large clump, but it didn’t look anything like the rotund body of a snowman that I wanted us to make.

Our neighbour’s children playing in their yard in a snow fort they had made came over to watch our attempts and that just added to the pressure.

We were all frozen, but I persisted.

“How hard can it be?” I muttered, determined not to give in to my wive’s pleas to stop and come inside.

Then one little child – couldn’t have been more than six or seven years old – ventured closer. “You’ve got to roll that to make a big ball,” he said. Emboldened, the others joined in, and actually rolled the clump down the yard in more snow to show us how it would gather snow and become bigger.

And so it did!

Having learnt how to do so, we made another for the middle and then a smaller one for the head in no time.

Our children ran inside for the carrot for the nose and other accessories we had collected for our snowman before coming out to build one.

Decorated, it looked like a very respectable snowman indeed. Enough for us to pose proudly beside it for photographs to send home!

– Parth Diwakar


What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020

May 2020

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016