This January I ridiculed my friend from London. On simple issue. He was telling me that the city activity is usually paralyzed when thermometers show few degrees below zero and snow falls from the sky. "Oh man, - I laughed, - in Belarus you would become extinct soon! Nothing stops even at -25С!". He just hemmed and we changed the topic.
But this Monday I felt that I must have had treated him unfairly. In Minsk we faced a terrible snowstorm and only -5, but that was quite enough to stall most of the city in the morning. Careless drivers, careless road keepers, bad weather conditions, pinch of circumstance (snow began at around 7am, only half-hour before morning rush hours) - and voila, somewhat tenfold increase in number of road accidents! Some really weird and disappointing things happen: a bus in a ditch, traffic jams for hours (when usually 30 minutes is enormously long), five to ten times public transportation slowdown...
If blizzard did not stop now and again, consequences might have been way worse: transport collapse, at least. But why it happens? We got advanced tools, we got computers to predict weather, we got cutting edge chemicals to fight road ice, we got heads on our shoulders to create good ideas ("What if we`d left our car parked today and went by Tube?)... But still, we have nothing to do with Mother Nature. It ain`t volcanic eruption, not an avalanche, not a tsunami - just precipitation! And we couldn`t handle it properly - shame on us!
Mankind that managed to solve mysteries of a DNA, discover nuclear fission and launch a man into space, [...], could not cope with snow and rain?! That might have been funny if it was not that sad. Maybe we should look not that far in other mysteries of mind and body and space, but try to make an effective use of things we got? For our cities to successfully operate at any possible weather conditions, to overcome all these circumstances appearing out of a blue sky... We`ve got even a saying on this, when we try to make it through snowdrifts on the roads and curse road workers: "Winter came suddenly - as always". It`s of course harder to quickly manage snowstorm in July rather than in December, but anyways, it is possible.
Not talking about July, let me confess: even in April that felt really uncomfortable. I wish spring, or stay in London, or stay in UAE - anything, but no more snow please and freezing winds. Enough, enough!