We live just 340km north of Toronto, but don’t let that fool you the difference is so much greater than the distance.
I’m not talking about all of the french that you hear spoken or the fact that you can buy poutine everywhere (mentally shudder) or even linguistic differences such as camps vs cottages, sledding vs snowmobiling, sliding vs tobogganing to name a few. I’ve already written about the biggie – hunting. Actual conversation between my husband and patients (notice the plural): Husband: So I’ve booked your surgery in two weeks.
Patient: Sorry Doc, I’m goin huntin in two weeks.
H: You know this is cancer, right?
P: Yup, but I’m goin huntin.
Now, I am not saying that everyone here is a cancer ignoring crazed hunter I’m just saying that this has happened more than once, more than twice even.
So hunting season has ended and ice fishing season has begun. Yes, it’s that time of year when people drag ice huts onto the middle of the lake, drill holes in this same ice which your great big heavy hut is sitting on and then proceed to sit in said hut in the middle of the lake and stare at the pole with the line in it for hours and hours on end.
There are a couple of things about this that I have trouble with. The first is the middle of the lake thing. I have gone walking on the lake in winter on more than one occasion. I do not like it. It freaks me out. You can hear the ice cracking under the surface. I do not care that the ice is over one foot thick, that there are snowmobiles zipping around on the lake, that there are big old ice huts on the lake, that it is safer further out than closer to shore. I DO NOT LIKE IT Sam I am. The other part of ice fishing that I do not like is that it is unbelievably boring. How do I know? I have gone ice fishing. Yes, really. When I was in my teens my dad took me, thinking it would be fun. It was the best 4 hour nap that I ever had. We are a fishing family. My dad taught all of his daughters to fish. I have always loved the peaceful serenity of being on the lake in a boat just biding your time waiting for the excitement of reeling in the big one or the little one. The beauty of the scenery and the sounds of summer on the lake make the entire event worthwhile. Sooo not the way it is with ice fishing. You’re in a wooden hut. There is nothing to look at. No scenery, just walls. No water, just ice. You’re not even holding a fishing pole, a line attached to a wooden stick propped up by another stick goes into the hole in the ice. You sit there and stare at the stick to see if it bobs. If it does you quickly pull the line up and try to grab your fish. You do this for hours. The hut is heated. It’s very warm, there’s no bathroom and you’re still in the middle of the lake. We don’t drink, not really, certainly not when we’re in a hut in the middle of a frozen lake. Somehow I think that the whole drinking thing must make a very big difference. Did I also mention that there are no bathrooms? How does anyone drink when there are no bathrooms?
I think I might have enjoyed ice fishing more when I was pregnant and always looking for an opportunity to nap.
My grocery store has a really nice fish counter. I like going to the fish counter. It’s fast and I don’t worry about falling through the floor.
It’s different here. I don’t get the whole ice fishing thing. Don’t get me started on poutine. Come on over I just brought back some flanken for cholent, bagels (real bagels) and chopped liver from Toronto and yes I do have that sweet bread that is not cake and no, a noodle pudding is also not dessert. Maybe, I’m what’s different here.