Cultural Learnings Of… Snow

February 22, 2010



Today was a great day in Stockholm and it wasnt just because it was the first sunny day in two weeks. It wasnt also because it was friggin cold, starting at about -20 and rising to a balmy -14 or so. It was the effect that cold had on the city: It was total society meltdown (pardon the pun).

Stockholm has had colder weather this winter, for sure but in the last month the snow has really come, its every where, piled meters high next to the roads, whole cars get buried underneath and small children are often lost forever if they stray off the path. So we have a city covered in snow and THEN it snapped cold and public transport in this city ground to a halt… which send everyone to their icy cars… which ground every road in the city to a halt as well.

Now usually Swedes are pretty good at dealing with the cold, we are in the north and its a regular thing so we have the ploughs and the winter tires and we even know how to drive on ice, so it is with a slight superiority we look at middle America right now which got a few days of snow, about its only all year and they had a total society breakdown. HA! We said, unprepared set of wussy girls. Here in the north we know how to do cold.

However, I think every country with a bad winter has 3 or 4 days a year of batshit-craziness, just for Sweden it happens about 15 degrees C colder than it does for middle America. In Siberia they probably have something they called "chaos" too, however as outsiders it might be hard for us to understand their "normal" from their "chaos".

Today was that day for Stockholm and everyone collectivly gave up. We are all a bit sick of the snow and today was the day Stockholms chucked a wobbly and couldnt take it anymore. I saw several cars just abandoned on the side of the road, the owners seemingly fed up or unable to make any further progress due to traffic or road grip and have legged it instead. With some trains out communuters had to wait for a precious few busses and Ive never seen Swedes so disorganised. People just standing in the middle of the road, I thought Id entered downtown Jakarta and I was being decended upon by beggers, no rather just exhausted Swedish commuters who were dazed and confused and wanted to get somewhere, anywhere.

Today I got the Volvo serviced and I cant help but feel I got shafted and recieved the tourist tax, which rather than being a Swedish thing, is a mechanics thing. I thought id take it to the cool small mechanics nearby but the guys English was about the level of my Swedish. At least at the dealer I could have spoken to someone clearer. Still we live and learn and after a wash, everything is looking good.

Here is my quick snap from the start of the day, left over night and found in a morning temperature of -18, the car turns over first go.

Louis Zezeran

Louis Zezeran

Louis Zezeran is an Australian Stand Up comedian and comedy promoter based in Tallinn, Estonia.

He was the co-founder of Comedy Estonia, Comedy Finland and Comedy Latvia. Louis writes, does gigs and performs at private events through the Baltics and Finland
Louis Zezeran

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