Home > Silent Spirits, Silent Tours > A Cup of Snow

A Cup of Snow

As I type this, snow is gracefully covering the landscape, as if the city is covering up with a white blanket. Some 8 degrees below zero, Halifax looks pretty much like any other North American city, with some tiny, negligible differences. But yes, sitting here, sipping Tim Hortons’ coffee on Spring Garden Rd and watching people freeze to death outside as they wait for the bus is both therapeutic and spiritual.

People, under so much clothes, jackets and coats, look the same. I could barely tell the difference between them. Although, I still don’t get the girls who wear earmuffs, scarf, gloves, coat and snow boots, but got a skirt or shorts on. It baffles me.
Still, regardless of the small differences, I can’t tell the Canadian from the immigrant; socio-economic profiling suddenly becomes meaningless. If snow isn’t telling us something here then there’s not much hope for humanity.
I mean, the thing about a place like this where there are many second and third generation immigrants is that it makes it harder for me, someone from a place where ethnic and racial profiling is as normal as burping after a meal (not nice, but normal), to look at an Asian-looking man or woman (for example) and not expect them to have a heavy accent.
On my way to downtown Halifax, I had a nice chat with the bus driver, who looked Asian but spoke with a heavy American accent. Like Owen Wilson. So I was thinking, is it wrong to expect people to talk in a certain way or to dress in a certain fashion just by their looks? If you are not sure whether you are guilty of profiling people, just pay attention to how you decide where to sit the moment you get on a bus.

Snow is painting the city white. Everyone is under layers of clothes. Everyone is holding a cup of coffee. Even people’s physique and structure becomes a little tricky. So the only obvious truth is how tall or short they are. I appreciate snow that way. Reminding me that nothing matters but attitude.
I don’t know these people, and they have no clue who I am or where I come from. When asked, sometimes I say Kuwait, sometimes I say Jamaica, and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to their attitude towards me.

  1. February 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Thanks! Much much appreciated! Although I have to admit, been too distracted lately… but your comments keep me going : )

  2. February 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Love the blog

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

      And I love you : )

  3. April 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Aaaaa the snow. Soft and gentle and just a pleasure to look at. The same thoughts go through my mind from time to time. How we tend to profile people. Asking them questions in order to put them in boxes.

    To a certain point, its not too bad, there are things you see in people that attract you to them or makes you choose them over others. This, to a certain point is “acceptable”. Its the same thing as if you were in a room that had 100 people talking to each other in different languages you would normally be attracted to those that speak the same language as you. We are attracted to people physically then verbally.

    This however is very dangerous if not controlled. Because some people will only talk to those look like them or talk like them. Even if they talk to people from different races, they still see them as second best.

    The best thing is start with one’s self. I think I enjoy planes rides the most. Because you’re forced to sit next to person not knowing who they are and can enjoy a conversation.

    You ask where their from not to categorize but to relate and start a conversation. “Where are you from?” is followed by “oooo you have this and that there. Hows the weather” etc

    Once I followed that mentality I was amazed on how much inspiration the person next to me can have.

    In the words of Poetry:

    Saying their greeting not because they care but because its a formality, asking me where my homeland is and what is my nationality, you’d think its with good intention but unfortunately they’re just trying to find more reason to hate me geographically, set up their borders so they can respond defensively, they want to know the differences and choose to neglect the similarities

    P.S. That shorts and shirts thing in subzero weather baffles me too 🙂 Great job bro!

    • April 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Always enjoy your comments, Bader! From what I gather you were living in Canada for quite some time, yes? I mean, I never lived abroad, but going to Canada for a couple of weeks made me realize how messed up this Middle East part of the world is! So I can’t really imagine what this place does to you, a person who’s lived there for years…. God help you, man : )

  4. May 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Your posts are always a bliss to read man, just wish they come more often :p. Trust me I know how busy this world keeps us.

    Actually< when I moved to Kuwait it was hard at first but later I realized that Kuwait is much like Canada. The diversity is even much more than Canada. Main difference is that People come from different Countries and bring with them their culture so It's nice to experience a real Asian cultural or European one or African etc.

    Once I realized this (took a lot of time to see this) It became very pleasant.

    Keep the posts coming bro 🙂

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