The Experimental Farm, flooded, Ottawa, May 2017

At first, rain was good news. Non-frozen water falling from the sky meant temperatures were going up and we were transitioning into spring. Besides, rain eats through ice and helps make the last mountains of dirty snow and salt disappear.

But it’s been raining a lot, way too much.

I’m sick of it.

In Ottawa, we usually have two kinds of rain: the dreaded freezing rain during winter and short but massive thunderstorms during summer. However, it’s not an overcast city with constant drizzle. Usually, it rains for a bit, then skies clear and it stops.

These days, I can’t for the rain to stop—it just doesn’t. There is light rain if you’re lucky, torrential downpour if you’re not and that’s it. The “dry” option is gone.

Tonight, I officially ran out of dry shoes. My sneakers are soaked (a fish could live in there), my blue boots turned dark blue and even my rain boots are wet inside—I suspect there is a hole somewhere in the sole, this is what happens when you buy cheap Walmart shoes. I went through two pairs of jeans, two pairs of socks and I hung my “waterproof” winter jacket to dry in the basement. It’s not warm enough to wear sandals and a light raincoat and umbrellas are no help with this much rain.

There’s nothing is more uncomfortable than a wet pair of jeans and soaked socks. The cold fabric sticks to your skin and it feels like you’re stepping on a wet sponge.

“What don’t you go take a shower?” Feng suggests when I step it, dripping water at the doorstep.

“I’m gonna change clothes but I’ll take it later tonight. I need a break from water,” I sigh.

The minute I step out, I know I’ll eventually go from dry to wet. Sometimes, it’s almost imperceptible because my coat protects me for a while, but then, I realize moments later that I’m a rain-soaked mess.

And if the downpour doesn’t get you wet fast enough, cars splashing through the puddles will. “Asshole!” I yelled to the black Honda Civic who drove full speed centimetres from the edge of the sidewalk, spraying pedestrians—myself included—and getting us coated with muck. Or sometimes, you just step in a deeper-than-it-looked puddle. Even the most waterproof footwear sees its properties challenged in water-filled potholes.

Ottawa isn’t a city where you can find shelter easily when needed. We have wide and long roads and streets and few bus shelters. This isn’t France where you can duck into a store of a coffee shop.

But above all, rain is depressing. Days are chilly, grey, windy and I can’t go out as much as I want to so I’m getting cabin fever. I know some people say water is good for the trees, the lawn—I’m sorry but at this stage, the environment is just developing a drinking problem.

I’ll celebrate when warm, sunny days are back. It’s about time!

Get the latest story, cultural shock and travel pictures right in your inbox

I don't spam, promise.

I literally don't have the time to write ten stories a day.

Visited 4 times, 1 visit(s) today


  1. Holly May 3, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Your poor legs! Our garden was turned into a pond. It was crazy here too 🙁

    1. Zhu May 3, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      I hope it stops soon! It’s not fun for your little one either, I’m sure. No crawling around in the grass :-/

  2. kiky May 3, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    May be I already made a comment, years ago, I always thought winter blue is non-sense. but weeks of cloudy days followed by heavy rain in the past weeks (yes, it’s already May!) is depressing. but on the other hand, after reading this post…I realized I took one thing for granted..
    .you, I can wear my favorite flip-flop 24/7/365…:D

    1. Zhu May 3, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      It’s really weird how lack of light affects you. I wish I could wear flip flops year round!

  3. Martin Penwald May 4, 2017 at 11:10 am

    T’as raison ! Vivement l’hiver !

    1. Zhu May 4, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Rhô… pas à ce point, quand même!

      1. Martin Penwald May 5, 2017 at 7:56 pm

        Tu n’as pas de problème de sous-sol ? J’entendais qu’à Gatineau, il y avait des zones résidentielles inondées. À Toronto, il y a aussi eu des évacuations près du lac. Tant que tu as les pieds au sec chez toi, c’est déjà ça.

        1. Zhu May 5, 2017 at 9:54 pm

          Notre quartier est au sec, on est loin de la rivière (ouf). Les caniveaux débordent mais c’est tout. Mais c’est clair que cette pluie chiante est en train de devenir un vrai problème dans la région.

  4. MC May 5, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Hahaha ! La pluie qui ne s’arrête jamais et qui te mets le moral dans les chaussettes. Je connais ! Bon courage !!!! Ici on a eu un avril hyper sec mais le mois de mai est en train de rattraper le coup. Mais tenons bon, l’été arriiiiiiiiive !!

    1. Zhu May 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Franchement j’espère… toute la région est inondée :-/

  5. Lexie May 7, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Je peux juste plus supporter la pluie, je peux plus je peux plus je peux plus!

    1. Zhu May 8, 2017 at 12:09 am

      Pas inondé, chez toi?

  6. Gagan May 10, 2017 at 10:28 am

    This week has been quiet on the rain front; I like to bike to work, last summer I did and I started last month but then it rained and didn’t stop. The bike paths around Carleton University have been flooded twice, we once just rode through it; saw a guy carry a girl on his back as he walked through the flooded patch. But that’s the fun part, houses getting drowned and damaged is the sad part

    1. Zhu May 10, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      So far so good, indeed! I hope it stays dry. I feel really bad for those in flooded neighbourhoods. It’s not a common disaster in Ottawa, hard to see it coming.

  7. Pingback: Ottawa Ice-pocalypse or How to Survive an Ice Storm

  8. Pingback: Harvey Brought Rain, the Tropical Storm Landed in Ottawa

  9. Pingback: Sun, Rain and Reflections on a Wet Day in Nantes

  10. Pingback: I’m Not Inspired by the Canada 150 “Inspiration Village”

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *