Happy Snow Valentine's.

So, Montreal has this OBSESSION about snow removal. Back where I come from (said in a red-neck old man accent), the major streets get cleared as they get cleared. The side streets....don't often get cleared and when they do there are big giant sandwich board signs up for a few days before. We learn how to drive on the snow.

Here's how it works in the good old YUL.

Let me tell you with an example:

The weather forecast calls for 5 inches of snow tonight and then 8 inches of snow tomorrow. But, the good old Montreal Snow Removal Schedule that was planned in 1988 indicates that side streets Frere-Jacques, Dormez-vous should be cleared.

The following two scenarios exist:

Scenario 1:
Magic elves come and tag every single street sign along Rue FJ and DV (Frere Jacques and Dormez Vous) with an orange sign that indicates no parking between the hours of 7pm and 7am. So anyone parked on these streets moves their cars to another street. Which certainly doesn't cause a problem....right?? Parking downtown and all??? It's not like you have to park like four or five blocks away from home or anything (Please read this with sarcasm).

Then, around 7 or 8pm, a tow truck drives up and down Rue FJ and Rue DV for about 20 minutes with his sirens blasting. This is to indicate, should you not have seen the sign, which is often hidden by trees or other such downtown items, that you need to haul ass so that your car doesn't get towed.

After which, the snow removal machines (yes, this is the technical terms) come and remove the snow and you wake up and everything is so beautiful and clean and it's the roads are like driving on a warm summer's day. Unless, you live at the end of a block, in which case, the snow removal machines may or may not have dumped all their snow there, eliminating between 2-3 parking spaces.

And remember....we're still getting another 8 inches of snow today....so....you'll come home and have to pretend you drive a 4x4 to park in the mini mountain of snow. However, this is the ideal situation.

Scenario 2:
The second situation, which is far more common, is that Rue FJ and Rue DV are cleared with no warning. No orange signs the day before. No tow truck sirens (and tow trucks/towing in French is "remorquage" and I have no idea how to say it properly or if it's a verb that I can conjugate. In all my years of French speaking (12 at school + 4 in Madagascar + 2 here), no one has ever taught me this word.

So, you wake up in the morning, or afternoon, or whatever, and you go see your car, like this:

Now, I'm no Boy Scout, but I'm prepared for this and when I hear the tow trucks, I go out and either move my car, or go and shovel my ass off so that the snow does not freeze like this. Because quite often, the snow gets kind of mushy and warm, and then freezes at night, and then you have a nice little car, in a cocoon of ice. And do you want to know what happens if you ask for a tow truck to come and help you?

They will tell you that you have to come and dig your car out first.


So, my car, is on the other side of town, broken (it may be the alternator or alternator belt according to the people that I've explained how the car died and the specific noises that it was making. Whatever it is, if it's more than $1000 - my car is going up for sale as is).

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, Montreal.

Did I mention it's mandatory to have snow tires here? Legally mandatory? And every year you must register your car for about $250 and every year you must renew your license for about $120. Which I just did.

Today? If I knew how to set an accidental fire to my car and if I could somehow call my insurance to see if they cover such accidental fires....I'd be buying whatever supplies required to burn the thing down.

I take that back. This little car has been so good to me the last three years. It's not the car's fault that Montreal has OCD-Snow-Removal.

Now here's the good news. It will totally make you melt (unlike the snow coffin around my car). My Valentine is leaving work early to come and help me shovel. I have a rental car for the next three days (cause apparently I'm rolling in money), and he is leaving work early and we are going to have a Valentine's Day shoveling party.

If that isn't romantic....I don't know what is.

Send me luck. I need it.

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