By Laurel Borrowman, Life & Style Editor
When I moved to Vancouver in 2002 to start university, I was under the impression that it was a city similar to Victoria, where I had lived for both middle and high school. In terms of weather, geography, culture, and ethnic diversity, I was oblivious to any major differences aside from sprawl and population of the two. What a sad, naïve Vancouver-Islander I was.
As I progressed through my three-year career at UBC, I was slapped in the face with all four of these differences. Even though I was living in the teeny bubble of campus for half that time, I realized there are about three times as many people in Vancouver, and more notably, that it rains about twice as much here.
I grew to loathe Vancouver very quickly. I’m sure now that population and weather are the two main reasons that the majority of my Islander friends hate this city, and make as few trips over to the Mainland as possible. I feel for them. But I no longer empathize, as I have discovered the secret to loving this city like your very own chubby, little baby.
Yes, the plethora of cheap concerts, cheap Thai food, cheap thrift stores, and wicked local bands have a hand in my now-undying love for the V-dot. Along with that, we’ve got myriad wicked independent galleries, cheap studio spaces, establishments open past 10 p.m. on any given evening, the bike paths kick ass, the buses run more than once every hour, there is always something entertaining on the streets (I’m looking at you, East Van), and I have made some friends who are unique and wonderful humans. These are all important, but above all, I would like to thank my gumboots.
My beautiful, $40, black rubber steel-toed CSA-approved, 100 per cent waterproof gumboots. People get miserable here for a bunch of reasons, but I’ve come to strongly believe that it is simply because they get wet feet.
Here is my math: wet feet = gushy feet = squishy sounds in shoes = noises akin to flatulence = social shunnery = isolation = nobody to go puddle jumping/snow activity-ing with during a long winter.
Similarly: wet feet = cold feet = cold legs = cold body = cold posture = frowning face = folks on bus telling you to smile = your fist in Talky McTalkerson’s face = general bad news-ish with law… and so on.
In short, wet feet are a lose-lose situation.
Don’t even try to tell me that umbrellas are the way forward. Umbrellas suck. They’re a waste of money, valuable sidewalk space, and have put many precious eyeballs in clear and present danger too many times to count. Get a jacket with a hood on it.
Wet feet are awful. They will ruin your life, and you won’t realize how beautiful this part of the world is—because it truly is—until you invest in a good, sturdy pair of gumboots or waterproof footwear of some form.
And if you are one of those people who never go outdoors, or don’t have to walk more than 10 feet in your daily routine, ever, well, you don’t know what you’re missing. Get outside. Just get some gumboots to do it.