When you live in the first world, you take everything for granted. When you live in the third world you are convinced that everything in the first world always goes smoothly. How common it is that a taxi driver, fussing about something, tells you : ‘I am sure this does not happen in your country’, and is surprised when I answer ‘sure it does’. I suppose my expectations are too high, as Argentinised as I am, I am always surprised when something in the first world gets out of control. And it happens every time again. Not everything goes smoothly here.
Just like now. For 4 days they have been predicting snow on Friday 12am. Everyone was prepared and for a change (after the disaster of last year) there is enough salt available. Everyone could have been ready to prevent a possible chaos, but when snow came, with a 2h delay, the whole Flemish (west) part of Belgium was and still is paralysed. There is a 1300 km traffic jam (highways only). Nobody in the whole country suspected we had that many highways. There is a traffic jam of 4500 km secondary roads included (waw!). The average speed on the highway is 5 to 8km an hour, that is, if you you are lucky to be moving.
And above that, the traffic information system crashed, the biggest cell phone operator is down (only texting works) and God knows what else… Fortunately the radio stations make the best of it. Some are really funny and succeed to make the people laugh in their misery. They play christmas songs saying it finally feels like christmas, let people request the most impossible songs as long as they are fun. They make you (at least : me), laugh.
I have to go out in a while. Maybe I should cancel it, but I won’t. I will see how far my car takes me. It is my last night and I want to see my friends. 2 already canceled, it looks like they are stuck in traffic…
(photos will follow, because apart from causing chaos, snow is sooooo beautiful!!)