Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I hate snow.

We don't get much snow here but when we do it really sucks. As opposed to back home, where it snows a lot and often, a "snowstorm" here constitutes anything close to 6 inches. And the good thing is that it's usually gone within a week or less. When it does snow here though, things become very difficult. The Italians are terrible about plowing and clearing the roads. In fact, most European countries don't use salt, they use sand instead so the snow stays on the roads and gets packed in, making it worse. Not only that, but mixing snow and slippery roads with Italian drivers - who are terribly reckless even in the best of conditions - is nothing short of a recipe for disaster. Many of them drive in snow like it's not there which leads to many stupid accidents as well as cars sliding off the road and getting stuck or even overturned.

So anyway, we had our first snowstorm this past Saturday. It was good timing since I didn't have to drive anywhere. I actually enjoyed grabbing the shovel and clearing the driveway, so much so that I ended up shoveling three others as well, just to be a good Samaritan.

It snowed again yesterday, all day and we got quite a bit of snow. But this time it really sucked because it's a work day. Now, usually when we get a lot of snow, they end up closing the base so I was hoping they would do that because I am trying to avoid driving in the snow as much as possible. It's not that I don't know how, in fact quite the opposite is true; I grew up in New Hampshire so I'm no stranger to driving in the snow. You may remember that I recently purchased an AWD Volvo XC90. It will be arriving here around January 11th which is obviously horrible timing with all the snow the past few days. When it arrives, I'll be selling my Passat to a guy at work which Im using as my entire downpayment and a hefty one at that. I'm desperately trying to keep the car in perfect condition for the next few weeks until my Volvo comes in. And as you can imagine, I'm petrified that some reckless idiot will cause an accident. That would be very bad. Accordingly, I was praying that they'd close the base this morning so I wouldn't have to drive. But it was not to be. Instead, they issued a late work call - for 0900. This actually made things worse for me as I usually start work between 0700-0730 and if I waited another hour or two, the traffic would be a complete nightmare since the roads still aren't completely clear. So I decided to go in at my normal time when there aren't many cars on the road. We got so much snow yesterday and last night that the driveway and car were snowed in so I awoke at 0400 this morning, had my coffee, checked sports scores, email and Facebook as I always do, then went out and shoveled the driveway. My back is sore from all the shoveling the past few days so the hot shower felt great.

So I drove to work extremely cautiously this morning and still almost got in an accident because some moron was tailgating me since I was driving slower than usual and the roads are still slippery. Fortunately I got to the base without incident but there was more to come. The office that I work in is at the top of a small mountain. As you can guess, the roads were not cleared a single bit and there was no way the Passat was going to make it all the way so I had to park at the bottom and walk all the way up, in 7 inches of snow. Even better, it was sleeting when I started and it soon turned to rain. Thankfully I was smart enough to take my umbrella. I shudder to think about what else this day has in store for me.

BTW, here is the funny postscript to the story; When I pulled through the gate, I asked the Italian guard if he thought my car would make it up the mountain. He looked at my car and replied "Earlier, someone with an all wheel drive Volvo came in and made it...but I don't think you can do it in your car."


Talk about pouring salt sand in my wound...


Anonymous said...

'Sand in my wounds'. HAHAHA.
I think Italian drivers and Louisiana drivers have something in common. "Why should I slow down my driving because of snow?"

Anonymous said...

Umbrella? OMG you carry an umbrella. I'm am literally falling out of my chair laughing. What a Sally.

Rik said...

Using an umbrella makes me a sally? I fail to see the logic there.