Shortly after I wrote about the flood, Paris had its next extreme weather situation: 5cm of snow!
Surely a city the size of Paris can deal with a little bit of snow, I thought. Well, I was wrong.
It had been snowing during the day and it looked serious:
It kept snowing during the night and more snow had been announced by the météo. I expected snow ploughs during the night or people with shovels in the early morning hours. But when I left the house the next morning none of the snow was cleared. Not the streets, not the sidewalks, nothing.
A lot of my colleagues were late that day – a lot of trains didn’t go or were seriously delayed. I expressed my surprise at the snow not being cleared away and learned that Paris only gets snow like that every 10 years, so the city doesn’t have the material. And sure, you are supposed to clear the snow on the sidewalk in front of your house. But if you don’t, nothing will happen, so people took their time doing it, or just cleared the small bit that led to the door. It was mostly businesses that cleared the snow or used salt. I guess it makes sense – it’s bad business if people break their necks on the way to buy your stuff.
The inevitable happened – during the day it got warmer and a lot of the snow turned into slush. But during the night, it snowed again and got colder again and snow day number 2 was basically just everyone fighting for themselves in the frozen hell that was Paris (I exaggerate, but not by much).
I also learned that French people mostly don’t have snow tyres, can’t really drive in the snow but don’t let that stop them from driving in the snow.
Gergö and I had planned to spend the weekend in Montpellier and there were 2 more centimetres of snow announced for the Friday we wanted to leave. I prepared myself mentally for being stuck on a train for hours trying to get out of Paris. Instead it was a smooth train journey down south with no delays of problems whatsoever.