Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I really can't complain, since Chicago has been repeatedly shat upon by Jack Frost, but it snowed here in Tianjin late Saturday night. I was having drinks at a tiny, one-party-at-a-time bar in a hutong in Beijing, followed by a 4AM game of Risk, and the sky was perfectly clear there. But when I traveled back to TJ at 6AM, I discovered that the city essentially shuts down at the mere suggestion of snow, even if it is only 2-3cm high. Since there aren't any snow plows here, snow removal consists of clumps of 20 police officers and city workers using digging shovels (not the practical, wide-mouthed snow shovels we're so familiar with), brooms, and odd easel-looking snow-pushing contraptions to casually move snow from one square meter of space to another. It's been three days since the snowstorm (which dropped about 2 inches of snow on this fair city), and even the most heavily-traveled, 8-lane roads are still frosted with black snow that feels like creamed butter and sugar, forcing already-slow drivers to lurch at snailspeeds. Preposterous.

I busted my leg up amidst the snowy mayhem; as I lept over a fence separating the bike lane from the car lanes, I slipped got my foot caught in it, creating some really sexy scabs and bruises. Thanks for this delightful Christmas gift, China! I'll cherish it forever.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

They's brought out them diggin' shovels?

PS--I wish somebody would take a diggin' shovel to my street. I don't understand what a salt shortage has to do with nobody plowing the roads, but there is about 5 inches of snow on even North Avenue, and it's been snowing for 12 hours with no sign of a plow.