Great, great Britain is being hilariously useless at the moment. How can a country suck this bad at winter in a temperate climate? For the record, yes, there it is snowing here, right now, and has been for days. And there's quite a lot of snow. And nobody really cares. And, at 47.9°N, I'm quite a bit further South than the British Isles. More to the point, I came across this splendid e-mail by a German expat in England today. I hope this amuses you. You can find the original at Fefes Blog, below is a quick and dirty translation into English by myself.
I was at Sainsbury's shopping for a proper Sunday lunch.
It was like there was a war on. We might not be able to stop the country with bombs, but after a little ice and snow they're almost about to re-introduce the old ration stamps. Two gigantic vegetable aisles, empty save one or two cabbages and peppers.
There's more snow in Berlin than here. But this place is in a state of emergency. Normally, when it snows, everybody just goes South and waits for the snow to melt. (Okay, the North knows how to cope with snow, but nobody lives there anyway)
Thing is, it's not melting.
Snow tyres are a completely alien concept. There are barely any snow plows, side streets are still snowed in. No garbage disposal, no mail.
Trains are being cancelled one after another, and are on an emergency schedule anyway. Complete standstill. And everybody's acting like that was normal and adequate. Absolutely normal that people stop going to work at the slightest sign of snow.
PS: The best bit is that nobody clears the pavement. Apparently, you can't be sued that way if somebody slips, because that'd be an “Act of God”. If you do something, on the other hand, you're aware of the danger and just didn't do it properly. That means that nobody dares and everybody is happy to have an excuse for doing nothing. That's the kind of absurd nonsense they're happy to accept here.And the people applaud me like some kind of hero. All I can say is, damn, if you think that's the way to go, do it as well!
I do keep my pavement free, I'm way too German not to do it.
To be fair, there are forms of humorous art only possible where the infrastructure is not in place to free town squares of snow.