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White snow and the dream of white Christmas

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White snow and Christmas – some are waiting and dreaming about. Some hate it and fear the day when the snow comes. The worst is always the first day. Love it – hate it, but everybody is talking about it. Even before it comes. Whole through the year people are divided – dreamers and haters. It was just a moment ago when we said Farewell to summer and celebrated autumn. Now everything is covered in white snow.

First white snow

I live in Estonia so snow for us is inescapable. The first snowy day is usually in October or November. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has lived in Estonia for more than 3years and has some kind of memory. But weirdly to all who are responsible for clearing the roads – it’s always surprising and it takes hours or even a whole day before they are seen. I really don’t know where are they hiding if they all claim to be ready to tackle the snow in September. But still every year we have chaos on the streets. It’s dangerous or even close to impossible to move around by car or on foot. Add to that the fact that too many drivers postpone tire changes to the last minute and are still driving with summer tires which doesn’t have a good crip on the snow slush and ice.

Magic of snow

Snow and snowing have some kind of magical halo-like it’s something special and extra great. It makes everything romantic. Makes everybody forgive anything (quick sum up of movies :)). And sometimes people like us have a really hard time understanding all the fuss around snow and white Christmas. The thing is – snow isn’t here for only Christmas. The magic gets lost after a week or two. Although I have to admit – Christmas with snow feels more like Christmas. Due to climate changes, I have seen black Christmas and the jolly just isn’t the same. Without the snow – it’s pretty pitch black outside here after 4 PM.

What happens with snow?

Do you know what happens to snow when it’s been on the ground for a week? While people, cars, trucks, buses, and animals walk all over it. How beautiful and white is snow? The truth is – not white. It will be a blend of poop brown, charcoal black, and pee yellow, with glass-smooth ice under that slush. So you need to calculate every step and be prepared to fall in any minute. Because as said before – street maintenance companies are slacking. I truly still don’t know what the hell are they doing. But it seems a great place to work…take the money and no work.

White snow for 3 months?

Winter with snow means about 3-4 months of cold weather (average -10 to -20 degrees Celsius) and never knowing what will wait for you outside. The most common surprise is that during the night it has snowed and roads and your car is covered in 10-30 cm snow. And we don’t get free passes from school or work. Kids get free passes from school if it’s below -20. Working people have to suck it up and get there on time. This means during winter you should wake up with spare time to do that.

I live out of the city and my only way to get to work is by car. And this means during winter I have to wake at least 30 minutes earlier and check outside. If it has snowed – I need to get out and clean or dig my car out of the snow pile and the mystery doesn’t end there. As mentioned above – road cleaning is another matter and a common 30-minute drive can easily be an hour or more. Not only because the roads are terrible, but also because there are always few drivers so afraid that they won’t drive above 40-50km/h and they don’t let others pass.

How is it like to drive on snow?

Well, it may look pretty – white road, white trees, and a car. But how is it like to actually drive or walk on this? When snowplows have not done their rounds yet. It’s different, your every nerve is triggered. You see and feel everything and you are constantly ready to react if a car slips, slides, or one of the others cars. You have to be ready every second, that any other car is unable to finish their turns the way they intended and you have to do anything to avoid or minimize impact. Because anytime you lose your guard – there is a big chance to get involved in an accident or causing one.

winter road
Highway in winter

To people who have never seen snow and had a chance to walk or drive on it – I think the closest comparison is mud. About 5-10 cm deep wet mud. So imagine driving on this almost every day for 3-4 months. And everyone – even the dreamers here get tired of this pretty quick. And in the last part of the winter, most of us are unitedly waiting for this to end. Because we need sun and warmth and stress-free rides/walks.

7 thoughts on “White snow and the dream of white Christmas

  1. Yikes. We don’t get very much snow where I live. Maybe a couple times a year, I can drive up into the mountains and have to deal with a little bit of snow on the ground. But I usually don’t even have to put the chains on the tires.

    But I do love going to the snow, at least to walk around a little bit and throw a few snowballs. I just think I would grow tired of it very quickly if I had to driive in it every day or walk around town in that. No thank you! 🙂

  2. That’s quite surprising that a country that has snow for months each year, isn’t better prepared to handle it when it first starts snowing. You’d think they’d have the grit and salting vehicles out as soon as the forecast showed snow was due. Also, leaving through winter at -10 to -20°C? No thanks, that’s way to cold, I don’t even own a coat ha ha ha

    1. We (the common people) wonder that too. They always say, they are ready. But fail to prove that every time. On 23th here snowed all day. We were in town for shopping and first ones we saw on the way out in the evening. In evening news they talked how everything is undercontrol and roads are all cleared. In the background very snowy road.

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