The rumor of snow tends to sweep through the nation like the storm it emerges from. For days people speak of the approaching flurries with great and anxious enthusiasm. Just like a dying man trying to get his affairs in order before his grand departure, Jordanians will carry out last minute tasks and rearrange appointments and deadlines, rescheduling everything to be either pre- or post-snow. We’ll avoid doing certain things so that we can come back with “well it was a snow day” or we’ll go out and do certain things in preparation for that same day. We’ll shop and stock our
bomb shelters kitchen cabinets, we’ll buy gas and kerosene, and the fact that fuel prices are set to go up next week only encourages the carnage. Meanwhile, money is withdrawn in anticipation for the unknown.
We’ll search for winter clothes as if we’ve never experienced a cold front in our lives, and clear the streets on the night before just to go home and hide and listen to the radio or the watch forecasts on TV; become transient meteorologists.
And then we’ll pray. Yes we will all get down on hands and knees and pray and supplicate to the God above, for the country to be covered in whiteness. Because snow equals time off.
The whole country comes to a standstill.
No going outside.
Just snow and waiting.
And that day off feels like an eternity.
Now to the common working man this can be a much needed day off to rest. But somehow, snow days always feel like more work. If not throughout the day, then whenever you get back to the office. This is especially true if you have a steady job, with a steady income. For others, especially those people who can barely make a living, a day off can break the bank.
Then there’s the economy. Everything stops working.
And the argument has always been that it is less feasible for Jordan to shut down for a day or two than to invest in snow removal machines on a bigger scale (only some main roads get cleared), and to force companies to stay open, or in other words function. I have come to believe it’s actually less feasible. How much would it really cost to remove the snow and clear the streets, and put a bit more police than usual out on the streets for safeguarding? They’re out there anyways to tell you the truth.
But it makes no sense for an already economically struggling nation to sacrifice a day or two at the markets because of snow (of all things). This is the 21st century.
More importantly, the general argument for the status quo has always involved the phrase “it’s just a day or two and it melts”.
What if it’s more?
What if by some fluke of global warming we are subject to a week of snow storms?
What if the ice age comes?
But seriously, what happens if it’s just a week?
Anyways, it has snowed all night and the world outside is silent. I’m writing this post from my office actually, and I’m a bit glad I have something to do and somewhere to go today. When the work is done I’ll probably do what everyone else will end up doing today: take pictures and drink tea.
Because if you can’t beat’em, then you might as well join’em.