Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snow in Atlanta

"So, are you ready for the snow storm?"

I looked at my driver for a moment before replying. "Yeah, I guess I heard it was going to snow today or tomorrow."

When I had approached the front desk this morning to ask for a shuttle ride to the training center, the girl behind the counter was bundled up in what looked like a very warm coat, and she was still shivering. For my part, I was wearing my leather jacket, but the front was open and I felt entirely comfortable. I asked her perhaps a bit incredulously if she was actually cold.

"Oh yeah", she answered. "I'm freezing. It's so cold in here!"

I paused for a moment before telling her, "I was just in Utah. We got close to a foot and a half at my house last week. It's not cold here."

Now my driver was asking if I was ready for the storm. I'm in Atlanta. From what the locals tell me, in the years that it does snow, it rarely sticks. Ice is still a big concern, but the snow is never more than a dusting.

My sister used to live in Atlanta. I remember visiting her here close to a decade ago. She informed me that Atlantans are generally good drivers, but when it rains, they forget how to drive. Unfortunately, as she pointed out, it rains every other day in Atlanta. The locals I've met this time around have agreed with that statement fully. They also tell me that if a single snowflake ever comes within sight of Atlanta, the city is paralyzed. And now we had "a snow storm" on its way. You can imagine my excitement.

I wasn't the least bit surprised on the ride home today when traffic was even more of a mess than usual. It took close to twenty minutes to leave the parking garage. One of my students was staying at the hotel one block past mine, so he had offered me a ride. As we listened to the radio, the DJ talked about how it was too early just yet to predict school closures. Looking out the car window, I could see that the snow was sticking to the plants, but doing nothing to the roads other than making them wet.

Once we finally got out of the parking garage, it didn't take long to get back to the hotel, which was less than a mile away. It was cold outside, don't get me wrong. But compared to Utah this time of the year, it felt almost tropical to me.

Right now I'm waiting for traffic to die down a little bit, so that I can gas up my own car at the CostCo down the street. I have a rental car here, but I'm not bothering to use it for anything other than getting to and from the airport. I figure if the shuttle bus decides not to get me, I can use the walk. During rush hour in Atlanta, it may actually be faster.

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