How to buy boots.
|My new boots.|
Buying the right boots for a Canadian winter is a big deal. There could be snow on the ground for five months, after all. You are given lots of advice on this, much of it conflicting. It is delivered with an almost religious fervour. Despite the thousands of beautiful boots on the market it seems you should be asking two boring questions. Are they warm and are they waterproof?
One friend tells me she buys boots and they sometimes just last one winter, It's tough out here, man.
|Rene Levesque Park, Montreal|
When I first moved to Canada everyone told me I needed proper boots. Big ugly things which make you look like a cross between a pig farmer and an eskimo. Then I noticed a lot of women in beautiful fashion boots out in the snow. Why am I being told to look like a farmer and they are all in thigh-length patent leather?
Two pairs of leaky boots later I have finally done the right thing.
But I know I'm turning Canadian because I actually think these things look good.
|Spot the tree|
I need lessons in wearing them though. I wear thin socks and walk with my husband to the Metro. The boots appear to be ripping the skin from my heels. He looks at me pityingly. Well, look at your socks.
What's wrong with them?
They're too thin.
Another sin against a Canadian winter I didn't know I was committing.
My friend listens intently to my heel agony story and smiles.
Ah, you just need to break them in, she says.
|Wintry sunset, Quebec.|