Sunday, June 1, 2014

Here Comes The Sun

While I think the West Coast (also known as the Wet Coast) of British Columbia is one of the greatest places in the world, its climate has never exactly been my cup of tea. Some quick stats:

- The annual average temperature in Vancouver is 11°C
- Vancouver is Canada's third most rainy city
- Vancouver gets 161 rainy days per year
- Vancouver receives 1153.1 mm of rain per year
- From November to February, on average more than 70% of the already short daytime is completely cloudy
(Source: Wikipedia)

Like I said, it's an amazing place but the weather is less than stellar. There is, however, a silver lining on the many clouds that cover Vancouver's grey skies: when the sun finally does make an appearance, people get actively excited about it. Sunglasses and flip-flops are fished out from the back of drawers and closets. Patios of restaurants and bars that have been empty and puddle-ridden for months are suddenly filled with umbrellas and cold beers. Hoards of pasty people rush to the beach in hopes of getting something ressembling a tan (although it's been so long since their skin saw sunlight that most will settle for a burn). Like a rich dessert that you only order on special occasions, every minute of a sunny day in Vancouver is to be savoured.

I've been away from home for over a year and a half now, and I've spent the majority of that time in hot countries where the sun coming out isn't something people get excited about; on the contrary, its constant presence makes many people groan. And although I love sunny weather, even I found myself complaining about it on a number of occasions. It became something I took for granted, and sometimes I would miss how waking up to a sunny day back home felt like being a kid on Christmas morning - it's literally that exciting.

Gloomy weather is something Vancouver and Glasgow seem to have in common; much like Vancouver, Glasgow gets its fair share of rain (167 rainy days per year, according to Wikipedia). As our waiter told us the other day, a sunny day in Glasgow is something special. Well, we were lucky enough to experience one such day during our time here, and it reminded me so much of being back home. The streets were filled with people. Patios were packed and cold drinks were flowing. There was just a buzz about the city. Being a rainy-city-kindred-spirit with these people, it was all I could do to stop myself from yelling, 'I know how you feel!'

While it was by no means unpleasant, I found Glasgow to be a rather un-extraordinary city. I liked it well enough but it just didn't impress me the way other European cities have. That being said, I'm grateful to Glasgow for letting the sun shine and reminding me a little of home.

One of the busy patios

Here comes the sun

Thanks, Glasgow

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