Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Isn't it funny how, despite whatever miserable weather February 1st brings, it always seems to clear up for Groundhog Day?

Yesterday there was talk of stopping the buses because of the snow, which would have meant sending the students home early. The bus company decided instead to delay their runs for this morning, so school started two hours late today... but of course the teachers had to be in at 8:10 like usual.

"We are adults," Ikeda-sensei said, explaining why we had to be there on time.
"So are the bus drivers!" I protested.
She was unpersuaded... not that she likely had a say in the matter. But even if the bus company's decision to delay their runs was not influenced by the school, shouldn't it indicate that maybe the roads aren't safe for anybody?

So the drive home yesterday was my most harrowing driving experience yet: the main roads had last been "plowed" hours earlier, visibility was poor, and students who didn't dare walk on the buried sidewalks carefully picked their way along the streets, occasionally moving over to let the cars pass. Mabel had asked if I wanted to go out for dinner, and while nothing sounded lovlier than eating tasty food at the cozy warm "Italian" restaurant in Yokota, I realized how impossible that would be when I pulled into Mabel's parking lot. It had clearly not seen anything vaguely resembling a plow, and my door pushed about 4cm of snow out of the way when I opened it. It was then that I knew I couldn't just wait out the storm (which showed no signs of abating) but had to get home before dark. Getting back out of the parking lot, pushing and packing snow as the car went, was definitely a trick. My little car is brave.

Visibility this morning was better and worse. It didn't snow at all while I was on the road, and the bounds of the streets are more well defined, but since they were never thoroughly scraped, the snow that remains on them is hard-packed and highly reflective in the morning sun. I usually hum some Copland or Holst to distract myself from the psychological component of my photosensitivity, but sometimes it's too bad even for that.

I discovered that my car has anti-lock brakes; that is to say, when I pulled out of the parking lot down the little hill to the street, the brake pedal started pumping under my foot. For some reason. I hadn't even started to slide. My car is smart, but sometimes she's a little too smart for her own good, making executive decisions like when to change gears and when to go into ABS mode without conferring with me, resulting in much frustration and gnashing of teeth.

This entry was composed entirely on my cell phone. It took two hours to write, and contains 2,811 characters. The sky was sunny when I began, and now it's snowing again, just like yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Wow, a keitai post that big. You are a HARD CORE KEITAI DAIFAN!

Emily Watkins said...

And how!

Kallese said...

Groundhogs are yummy.