OPINION

The Blizzard of 2010

February 10, 2010
smallsquirrel

I have not been out of the house since last Friday.

OK, so that is not exactly correct. I have gone to shovel out the car. I have helped neighbors shovel out their cars. And finally the other day we had to venture out and walk to the grocery store to stock up for round 2 of the storm. But honestly, I have not been able to get to work since last week, and there is little hope in sight of me reaching my office any time soon.

The entire Washington DC metropolitan area has been slammed with a winter storm that most people here have never seen in their lifetime. I grew up in a place much, much colder and snowier than this, so it doesn't faze me much. The problem with contending with the weather here is that the area is not suited for it. There are not enough snow plows, not enough salt and sand for the roads, and the infrastructure cannot handle it. There are literally thousands and thousands of people without power here. And while that might not be a huge deal for most desis, in the US when you do not have a generator and the snow is piled 4 feet high, having no power for more than an hour or two becomes a dire condition.

The other issue is that after 1-2 days, being stuck inside stops being quaint and starts being just plain annoying. There are only so many cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows and on-demand movies one can take in. I have cooked pots of chili, pans of cornbread, fluffy biscuits and lovely omelettes. We have had too many cups of tea (if there is such a thing), and every toy has been played with a million times over, in hundreds of permutations. Actually, the only plus of the snowstorm is that it has allowed us 6 days in a row during which we have almost completed potty training our daughter.

It would be nicer if we lived in the city. Last Saturday there was a snowball fight that drew crowds of thousands of bored people. My friends who live in the city are telling tales of lounging in quaint coffee shops and strolling down snowy and deserted streets. Me? I am looking out from our 3rd story balcony at white-out conditions and wishing that my daughter had a playmate that lived in walking distance. Hell, I wish I had a playmate within walking distance! (after being stuck in the house with one's spouse for a week, they no longer qualify. No offense, as I am sure he feels the same way.)

So there it is. I am going a bit mad. Time to make lunch and plan the afternoon's activities. Or maybe I will just relent and let my daughter watch Kung Fu Panda for the 4,000th time.

Smallsquirrel is a born ranter. She is an Italian who moved to India by way of the US to be with her husband, a native Bangalorean. She loves bacon and rava masala dosa in equal measure, but certainly not in the same meal.
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