I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but it’s been snowing a bit in Bergen lately.
This morning I wished my dear a nice day and took off for work. The snow plow obviously hadn’t discovered this part of town today, but it wasn’t really a problem. My car is in a carport, so I didn’t have to brush off any snow, gravity and sensible driving got me down the the first hill, then I stopped and waited patiently to be noticed by the man standing in the middle of the road with a snow shovel, he saw me and moved and I was lucky enough not to meet another car while driving down the narrow road to the bottom of the hill. Driving around Laksevåg I managed to avoid all the pedestrians preferring the middle of the road to the sidewalks and their 50 centimeters of snow, and when I got on the highway I managed not to join the cars halfway into the snow banks along the road. All in all the drive to work went as well as you can hope for in conditions like these.
But, other people had a harder time. A bit later in the day my mobile phone rang. In the other end I heard Kristin saying “You HAVE to buy a shovel on the way home!” This is an unusually strict way for her to say something, so I supposed I just had to obey. She’d used an hour trying to get her car loose from the snow without having suitable equipment. She then gave up and caught a bus to work. That means walking to the bus stop, taking two different buses and walking from the bus stop to her job. The planned meeting got lost in the snow and she was in a rather bad mood. It didn’t help that it was still snowing.
As I said, I had to do my best to obey. It was just that it’s not that easy to get hold of a shovel in Bergen these days. Having a feeling that this would take some time I left work a bit earlier than usual (I had to get some snow off my car too). And, as suspected, none of the hardware stores along the route from work to home would admit to having any shovels (but if I wanted a digging fork og a pitchfork they’d be delighted to help). Without much hope I finally walked into the Rema1000 store a Laksevåg. (notes for foreigners: Rema1000 is a chain of cheapish supermarkets) I was going to ask for plastic bags (for turning plastic objects in to be recycled) and a shovel. They didn’t have the plastic bags (they’d ordered them from the renovation company ages ago, but still hadn’t got them), but they did have a shovel! Actually they had TWO!
The next problem was getting the shovel home. I drove around so I could drive down to the house instead of up. But the road past Damsgård elementary school was backed up as someone was having snow trouble further up the road. It took some time, but they finally sorted it out and we could drive on. I let gravity help me again and didn’t slide into anything coming down the hill.
Having parked my car I started on the snow around and under Kristins’ car. The next hour I shovelled snow. The only break was to watch some fool trying to drive up the hill I just came down. He deserves some credit for guts, but none for brains. After a lot of spinning wheels, people having to push him out of snow banks, the smell of an overheated engine and traces of cooling fluid on the road he finally realized that going down the hill instead of trying to go up was actually good advice.
I finally got the car out of the snowdrift. Then I spend some time shovelling some snow away behind my own car and filled up on windshield wiper fluid so I can keep seeing where I’m going. Then Kristin turned up. We started up her car and found out if I’d done a good job. It took a bit more shovelling and pushing, but we got it loose and parked in a way that should make things easy in the morning. It’s also no disadvantage that it’s now parked further out of the road than it was, it’s not everyone who has that much control coming down the hill.
Quite pleased with ourselves we finally got inside. And now; after changing out of the snowy clothes, having had dinner and a nice hot cup of chocolate, we’re comfortably seated with out laptops in our laps. Nerdy normality is restored!