Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Snow removal habits

We've had quite a cold January - it's -20C right now (feels like -24C), and it has snowed off and on over the last few weeks. It's been interesting to observe differences in snow removal habits here vs. what we experienced in Ithaca. There, I remember lots of snow plows and roads being clear - like down to the asphalt - and sidewalks shoveled off as well throughout the winter.

Here...well, it's a little different!

The snow on sidewalks has compressed beneath the weight of pedestrians into a layer of not-quite-ice, but not-quite-snow. Sometimes it's slippery, but usually not (as long as your shoes have some tread). The worst bits are the crosswalks - the white paint on the zebra stripes is crazy slick if it manages to poke through the snow layer.

The main roads have asphalt showing through in the tire track area, but otherwise cars are driving on similarly packed snow. You can see in the bottom picture that the roads have been generously gravelled. I have yet to see salt used here.

The gravel + compressed snow ends up looking like chocolate chip ice cream to me. If only.

Also, this poor kid's glove has been propped on this curb beacon thing for over a week now. Stay strong!

I've enjoyed the brightness that the left-in-place snow lends to a dark winter. I also don't miss the huge piles of slushy gunk on either side of a sidewalk or road, though they are starting to appear on major streets. I do wonder what will happen to all that gravel once spring comes and the snow melts!

January 22nd, outsourced

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