Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Sloche and Donuts
"Sloche" is a popular Quebecois drink that is essentially a Slush Puppy branded under a different name for the primarily French market here in Quebec. One of their most popular flavours is "Winchire Wacheur", a crazy blue frozen concoction that resembles its namesake, windshield washer fluid. To say we're obsessed with slush is an understatement. When we're not driving or walking through it in winter, we're drinking it in summer, in a toxic blue shade made to resemble windshield washer fluid, no less.
It had been snowing for the better part of the night already, and the forecast called for a snowy day ahead with about 20 cms or nearly 8" of white crap falling. Like the Inuit, who apparently have a dozen different words for snow, we also call this kind of snow "heart attack snow", because shoveling it could cause a coronary, it's that heavy. It was hovering just around the freezing mark, yet we'd rather see heart-attack snow falling than having to deal with freezing rain.
Just as I had suspected, the roads were a horrendous mess as I made my way to work. I decided to take the back roads because that route provides me with more options than the highway, and what normally takes exactly 22 minutes (why, yes, I do have it down to an exact science), my drive took well over an hour that morning. Since I have a new (albeit used) car with nice Toyo winter tires, the empty parking of the post office proved too tempting to resist as I threw the last of my Christmas cards into the mailbox. I tried out a few defensive driving manoeuvers by making a few donuts in the parking lot and finding the sweet spot the ABS decides it wants to kick in at. It's always a good idea to know what your car can - and more importantly - cannot do in crappy weather and on crappy roads, both of which we have in spades. Might as well try things out in an empty, slippery parking lot rather than experience them first-hand by careening into someone, or driving into a snow bank.
That out of the way, I needed to take one long detour because a school bus managed to strand itself on a hill, and finally, back on my regularly scheduled road, I came across yet another school bus who also managed to get stuck:
When I finally made it into work, the power went off within a half an hour, and only came back on again 3 hours later. We're no fools though, and called around town to find a restaurant that had power and a liquor license, just to make sure all of our bases were covered. We were settled in and toasting each other happy holidays, all before 11 o'clock in the morning. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Driving home that night, this is how the road to our house looked:
And those huge light standards on the new Highway 30? Someone knocked one down during the storm, and the light standard managed to fall across all 4 lanes of traffic, effectively closing the highway in both directions for several hours. You think maybe they really ARE too high? That said and done, Eric took the new highway and bridge to the south shore right after the worst of the snow fell. He said the off-and-on ramps were sheer ice, which proves my point that snow removal crews were caught off-guard. His destination normally takes 1.5 hours, and using the new highway, it took 45 minutes. One day, we might get it together in this infernal province...
Any day now, Environment Canada can take down the dire green tag on their website that says, "Chance of a Green Christmas?"
It'll be a white Christmas, after all. Slush and donuts included.