So here I was, getting up at 5.20 am on a Monday morning, taking a cold shower. I very much dislike cold showers -especially when it’s below zero (0°C, 32°F) outside-, but the idea of going back to Texas, back into the heat, made it all worth it. Got into the taxi at 6. At the airport by 8.30. Plane boarding at 11. Spend some time in the airport lounge, read some e-mails and then at 10.55 realizing that “49″ is not the gate number, but the plane number. Panic! Been waiting for 2,5 hours and now there is a chance I’m missing my plane? Which is my gate? The screen says 38… OK. where is 38? It turns out gate 38 is conveniently located at exactly the opposite side of the airport from gate 49, where I currently am. I run through the airport, totally out of breath when I arrive. Using my priority ticket to board as one of the last passengers. I made it, the captains announcement that the flight is going to take an hour more does not even bother me.
Arriving in Dallas, Texas was a bit disappointing, having my morning shower in mind. I left with green grass and great temperatures back in November, but now was back with temperatures below zero and grass that looks like it hasn’t had water in years. OK, so winter knows Texas too, that is fine. I guess it was a bit naive to think it would be really warm. Did some grocery shopping and went to bed early (well, early is relative if you find yourself 7 hours behind your “normal” time zone), because I wanted to be at the office early the next day.
I woke up today with thunder and lightning. Weird… I opened the curtains in my room and noticed there was 3 inches of snow on the parked cars. It took me a minute to realize I was watching SNOW in TEXAS!!! I’ve been told that snow creates chaos around here, I was about to find out of my sources are trustworthy. Sadly, they turned out to be right: the morning show in the breakfast room of my hotel was airing traffic updates like this: “School bus delayed 7 hours”, “Highway closed”, “100+ accidents in and around Dallas”. F***
Being on the road, it did not take me much time to realize why snow was such a problem around here. To start there is the infrastructure, clearly these roads are not build for cold weather: many bridges, on/off-ramps are iced over and simply plain dangerous. Second there is the automatic car gears. It is more difficult to drive a car that you cannot actually control. Last, but probably the most important factor, is the drivers. I mean, if people start breaking on iced-over bridges, for no reason at all (other then the fact the bridge is iced over), you shouldn’t really be surprised that cars suddenly find themselves going the other direction, crash into each other and blocking several lanes. My 25 min drive to work, took me over an hour today. I decided to take an alternative route after standing in a traffic jam for over 20 min. Thank god Katy Perry was played (3 times) to comfort us in the commute pain.
All of this was forgotten this evening, when I sat down with my colleagues to have a great dinner. Sometimes, all it needs to feel at home is a nice, warm meal.