Wednesday, December 21, 2005

ICE in my town - A recipe for disaster

It snowed. (written with as little enthusiasm as I could muster.)

Not the type of snow that we in Canada would consider classifiable as snow. It was more like a fine granial powder that created a blanket of white.

Underneath this lovely looking blanket was a deadly sheet of ice.
But I will return to the ice later.

I had this feeling it was going to snow when I stuck my head outside last night to throw a diaper into the diaper bin; a raindrop hit my nose.
-It is raining. It will snow.

Li thought I was off my rocker but when he stepped outside this morning to head to work he came flying back inside to tell me that it had snowed.
I bounced out of bed and took some flickr pictures.

Snow is not such an amazing thing generally, but here in my little area of Shizuoka it is a HUGE shock to the system. I have been here for almost 6 years now and can count on one hand the number of times I have witnessed snow on the ground;
  1. The first winter I was here the ground was sprinkled with a frost like snow that was melted before I finished my walk to work in the morning.

  2. Two years ago we had this freaky blizzard that came from out of nowhere on a perfectly clear blue day. It caused a major whiteout for exactly 2 hours. And then it was gone, like it had never happened. There was not a trace to be found on the ground by the end of the day.

  3. This morning.

I took my flickr pictures listening to the kids walking to school this morning. There were THOUSANDS of kids on the road. It was almost like every child in the town insisted on walking today so that they could get the full effect of the snow. Snow was being thrown (as best as powder stuff can be thrown) and kids were skating all over the place. The air was full of squeals and laughter.
It was heaven.

When JiXiang woke up I held her up to the window so she could see the white blanket and she ‘oohed’ and ‘awwed’ while tapping the window.
When we went outside to head to daycare I held up some snow for her to see closely and she eyed it with interested suspicion.

This is where the nice blog stops and the ranting starts.
Remember the sheet of ice UNDER the snow that I mentioned at the beginning of this post?

Well there was definitely ice around my neighbourhood, tons and tons of freaky slippery black ice.
I thought it was just near me but I was wrong. It extended throughout my entire town and all of the bloody idiots came out to drive.
The smart people took the train, which was much more crowded than usual. The smart people took the bus, which had a very long line this morning. The smart people took a taxi, which was almost non-existant due to so many people taking them.

The stupid people drove.

As I mentioned, we never get snow, because of this no one knows how to drive in it, and no one has any clue how to handle ice. (I am from Vancouver area; we don’t get much snow but we get one hell of a lot of ice.) Also, due to the no snow, everyone has ‘normal tires’ on their car. In my area this mean ‘summer tires’.
Yes people!
Summer tires on ice!!!
A recipe for disaster.
Ji and I biked to daycare as slowly as we could and got there safely. All the while I was cursing the morons who were driving too fast, accelerating out of an icy corner and driving in general.
I actually snarled (in English) at this moronic shopkeeper who was actually HOSING DOWN the walk in front of his shop. The temperature is still at freezing and the idiot has just created an ice rink. MORON!
Across from JiXiang’s daycare there is a gas station and the attendant was standing on the sidewalk watching all the cars drive too quickly by. Whenever the light turned red he would hop onto the road and SLIDE across it. The idiots standing at the red light didn’t seem to pay attention and they all fished tailed their way past him when the light went green.
On the news this afternoon it showed a video clip of my town and the city officials running around the intersections throwing salt everywhere in an attempt to limit the number of crashes.

It will be a worse affair tonight, as the black ice will turn totally invisible in the dark.

I am going home early.

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::12/21/2005 :: 7 Comments:

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