06 January 2010
You'd think these people had never seen snow before...
I had seen the snowy branches out my window, but hadn't anticipated the situation that awaited me outside the door. I had allowed just enough time to bike to met a friend for lunch. Immediately, I realized that my bike would probably not fare well in the 6+ inches of snow on the ground. However, due to my tight schedule, I was tempted to risk it. That is, until I saw the cache of bikes surrounded by and covered with deep snow. I wasn't even sure which was mine and certainly didn't feel like uncovering all of them to find out. So I began to trudge along untreated, slippery roads. The advantage of walking (in addition to safety) was the opportunity to take in some of the sights.
I saw boys with their jeans tucked into their boots. (Ok, so this isn't THAT weird. It is Europe after all.)
I saw four people standing in a circle (more realistically a square) having a "snow ball fight". Clearly, they had never had one before. They were essentially taking turns throwing snow balls at each other. Each time a snow ball came in their direction, they would duck or wince slightly, but ALWAYS allow the snow ball to hit them. Oh, and they were standing about four feet apart.
Nearly everyone that I passed on the street had their camera. It almost made me wish I had mine because clearly this is a phenomenon. I may be able to say that I was in Oxford for the snow of 2010.
I had only been at the library for around an hour today when I heard a distant bell ring. "That can't be right," I thought, "The bell ringing usually means that the library is closing; but it's 3 pm." But soon, I heard the ringing getting nearer, and looked up to see a jovial librarian ringing the bell and nodding meaningfully in my direction. When I checked out the stack of books that I had intended to read in the library, it was apparent that the librarians could hardly contain their excitement. It was their first snow day. Probably ever.
You would think these people had never seen snow before. And if you did, you would be right. At least not for the last 30 years according to your local librarian.