Vancouver Is A Rainforest
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Vancouver ranks as the #2 rainiest city in the world, next to London. The measure used is “most days of rain per year,” as opposed to most rainfall in total, in which case cities in South America or South East Asia would win, as they get more rainfall in a few hours than most cities do in 6 months. This is not to say that it doesn’t rain hard in Vancouver at times, because it does, but not the deluge you might see in a tropical climate. Vancouver’s rain comes consistently, along with overcast, and mild temperatures. Some complain about the weather, others accept it, because after all, Vancouver is a rainforest.

“Better get used to it.” That’s what you’ll hear if you’re new to Vancouver and complain about the rain. You’ll either get used to it or leave, those are your options. You’ve chosen to live in a rainforest, in case you weren’t aware, and that comes with “lifestyle choices” shall we say? Failing to own high quality raingear is a mistake you won’t make for long, and you will learn how to dress to protect business clothes from the rain, while still achieving a level of style and fashion.

You’ll also gain a keen eye for puddles and the knack for recognizing ones which are much deeper than they appear, because this error will have already cost you a pair of expensive shoes and a day of drenched discomfort. You’ll also learn never to stand near any puddle which happens to be located on a corner or crosswalk, this too will cost you dearly.

At some point in time, once you have survived the first year in Vancouver, you’ll look around and notice the majestic tall cedars, the deep, lush green vegetation, and the snow capped mountains, but this time you’ll see them in an entirely different light. You’ll make the connection between those dreary, soggy days and the slice of Heaven you find yourself living in. It’s because of the persistent, consistent rain that those trees stand so tall, and give protection to new trees, as well as clean, fresh air that you so love to breathe. Indeed, Vancouver is alive and full of life, because water gives life.

The recognition of this fact is what converts an immigrant to a card carrying Vancouverite, who will probably never leave. They’ve earned their stripes, they “get it,” and can now see past the rain to the beauty on the other side of the clouds. At this point, you will likely decide to own it, to make the most of it and discover how to most enjoy Vancouver’s climate. It’s then you’ll notice for the first time, all the stores selling outdoor gear, sporting equipment, and top notch weather protection urban wear as well. This is your next step in the progression to becoming a hardened survivor of Vancouver’s climate.

Somewhere along this progression, you’ve been told that Vancouver was once a rainforest, and perhaps still is, despite the big city replacing all the trees. Now it all comes together, you see what was, not just what is, and your understanding grows once more. You envision the entire city filled with the tall trees you see here and there, streams flowing down to the ocean, coming off the mountains, teeming with fish. For the natives who called this home, it was perfect, they had everything they needed and more. They were the first survivors of the climate, but they saw the bounty from the beginning, unlike the coddled westerners, addicted to their creature comforts. Then an uncomfortable fact crosses your mind, you are that coddled westerner, even though you’ve survived and come to terms with the climate. Now, you see the First Nations in an entirely different light, they not only survived here, they thrived. They were well aware Vancouver was a rainforest and that’s exactly why they came here. Rain gives life, try building your society in the middle of a desert.

If and when you arrive at this conclusion, you’re humbled by what you now know. You gain a different perspective, not only on rain and climate, but the people around you. There are those who think water comes from a tap, food from a grocery store, and life just exists regardless of the climate. If so, why are so few cities in deserts? And those that are foolish enough to begin there have neverending shortages of water, they have to source it, borrow it, pipe it in. Somehow they have to compensate for this inherent design flaw of their city.

Vancouver has no such design flaws, water flows from the sky, mountains, and yes, even the taps. Now you’ve truly come to terms with your new city, you haven’t survived, you’ve fallen in love. You recall the occasional comment of a passerby who seemed appreciative, even thankful for Vancouver’s rain, which at the time you passed off as an act or an attempt to make the best of it. You re-live the experience through new eyes, and decide that you agree with them.

There are places you can congregate with others of like mind, you’ll find them in your favorite outdoor and running stores, walking the seawall during the heaviest of rain, fishing from a dock during the rain, or even in the comfort of their own home congregating on a blog. Search Vancouver blogs for outdoor enthusiasts and you’ll soon find a place to connect with your newfound ilk. They’ll show you trails, secret caves, the best views to be had, and how to enjoy this rainforest even more. After your hard won journey, you’ll laugh at the thought that you could’ve simply clicked on this Vancouver blog from the beginning and bypassed the struggle, or could you have?


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