In answer to your question, I didn't have any idea what it was going to be like living in a cold country. Not a skerrick, not even the very beginnings of one. You are right, I had watched almost every episode of every season of Northern Exposure before coming here, but I barely even remember them wearing coats, let alone providing any meaningful information about what life below zero meant. Of course, I didn't really need to pay attention then.
And now here I am, a foreigner in a very foreign land.
I am pretty used to things now but I will never be a natural. I know what to do and what to wear, but it will never be something that I take for granted. It will never be just the way it is.
Which gives me a unique perspective from which to watch the natives and their weirdly endearing ways. I will always watch on in awe that anyone thought it was the most natural thing in the world to strap some blades to your feet and go out on the slipperiest surface known to humankind.
And I will always watch with a little warm squeeze of my heart that a whole herd of Canadians would see it as perfectly normal to wander out in -12, bundled up like over-wrapped mummies, to watch a bunch of vehicles all decked out in Christmas lights drive slowly down the street, drivers honking horns and waving to the excited onlookers.
You've got to do something in the winter, bless them.