Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Driving in a snowstorm

The greater Toronto Area got hit with 6" of snow this afternoon, so My usual 30 minute drive home today clocked in at an impressive 3 hours and 30 minutes.

To be fair, the weather network website told me to leave work early.

Now for those who are reading this who don't have experience with Canadian winters, let me assure you that southern Ontario gets VERY LITTLE snow compared to most of the country. You want to see stereotypical "Canadian winters" you're need to head out to the Maritimes, Quebec, Winnipeg, or south of the border to Buffalo; they got 6 feet yesterday.

People from Toronto will occasionally see huge amounts of snow, but for the most part we're mocked coast to coast for our inability to handle winter.

All this fails to matter though when it comes to the commute; while we have less snow, we have a LOT more people out driving in it, and so much more traffic as a result.

About an hour into my drive, I decided I would chronicle my thoughts (a few memorable ones are post dated) to share with you, because you're here on the blog :) 

And so...


4:30 pm - Leave the office, brush off my car. Take a picture of the snow covered field behind my car. Resign myself to the idea that my drive will be twice as long (an hour and fifteen tops). Jump in the car and fishtail (slightly) as I leave the office.

4:37 pm - Should I just park at the train station then pick up my car from there in the morning... no I'll drive.

4:45 pm - Get on the highway

5:15 pm - Having traveled only one exit in the last 30 minutes, decide to get off the highway and take the roads

5:30 pm - Things are good, a little slow but faster than the highway. Head through downtown Oakville and start to hit problems... Wait 20 minutes to turn right onto main road.

5:33 pm - Why didn't I just take the train.

5:45 pm - Have inched approximately 100 feet from where I made turn in last 15 minutes. begin to get hungry and exasperated. Maybe just a little weepy.

5:46 pm - Decide to start documenting travels

5:47 pm - Turn on Christmas music to try and enjoy the snow falling and get in the festive spirit.

5:58 pm - Tire of Christmas music, switch to radio. Haven't moved in 10 minutes.

6:17 pm - 300 feet from where I made my right turn. Averaging about 100 feet every 15 minutes. An ambulance and a cop car rush past.

6:24 pm - Begin to feel frustrated with drivers who block intersections. Just because the light is green doesn't mean you should GO! If there's no room for you on the other side, do NOT proceed through the intersection. All that happens is that you block the intersection when the light changes, causing traffic back ups in all directions.

6:25 pm - Consider calling a radio station to yell about all the drivers who block intersections. Everyone needs to be held accountable.

6:35 pm - Parents call to see where I am. Explain the situation with heavy sarcasm. They are also out in traffic and feeling my pain. I promise to text them when I get home safe.

6:48 pm - Finally at the next set of lights. Brief respite where I can drive at a regular speed befo... WHY ARE YOU DRIVING 30! IT'S NOT THAT BAD OUT!

7:01 pm - Text Kris, tell him I'll be another hour at least.

7:05 pm - Back in line of cars at a stop light. Begin praying to God, Buddha, Satan, whoever can get me outta this and home.

7:07 pm - Fire truck goes by

7:09 pm - Why didn't I take the train?

7:13 pm - Put my iPod on shuffle. Blast music loudly and try to imagine myself in some inspiring movie moment where the other cars around me are soothed by the beats... I'm getting some glares though, maybe I should turn down the volume... OMG IS THAT CLASSIC MILEY?


7:17 pm - I seem to have hit some kind of runners high. The pain of this drive has been channeled into some kind of happy adreneline rush. Music is blaring and I am singing. Loudly. And dancing... occasionally waving at strangers.

7:23 pm - I am astounded by all the people out and about on bikes. That seems more miserable than waiting in traffic.

7:32 pm - Briefly consider pulling into the pub I just passed to eat my weight in Chicken Wings, drink 6 beers then walk home.

7:47 pm - So close now, I'm only one highway exit away. 

7:48 pm - Got over excited and followed a car through an intersection. Am now blocking said intersection. I have become part of the problem

7:53 pm - Finally pull into my parking garage! Text my parents to let them know I am safe

8:11 pm - Victory.

Next time I'm taking the train.