March 4, 2018 jasperdetaeye

The End of Times, a Snowstorm in Ireland

If you haven’t experienced an event, you cannot imagine what the consequences of an event will be. That was clearly the case for me last week in Ireland. As far as I can remember as a child, I have never witnessed a snowstorm. Prior to what happened this week, I considered myself a snowstorm virgin. Next, I have never experienced a country disrupting event in Ireland before. Last week both virgin experience were melted into one and I’ve been deflowered.

Last Tuesday people uttered that a major blizzard was coming. Everybody exclaimed that we really should prepare ourselves. This resulted in a load of Irish rushing to supermarkets to stock up for the tough days coming. I couldn’t believe what was happening. What’s the fuzz!? Have they never seen some snow before?

Apparently, I underestimated the entire situation. On Wednesday we were all requested to work from home for the sake of our own safety. Yeah, there was some snow but I still thought what’s the big deal. Hence, I run during my lunch break to the fitness and went for a gym- and swim session. Satisfied I return home and ended up zipping some cognac with a mate ridicule the ludicrous situation that took place in Dublin. Though next day I began to understand the panic of the Irish more.

I woke up, bothered by a slight hang-over of the cognac, pulled my curtain aside and checked the courtyard outside. Wow! I’ve never seen a snow increase to that degree in one night. Not in The Netherland. Not in Austria. Not in France. Not in Switzerland. With an empty stomach, I opened my fridge. Now I could bring the stocking up urge from the Irish more into perspective. Work had been cancelled. The power had been out several times that night. There’s barely internet connection. One moment the thought ‘the end of times’ passed by.

I opened my front door, ignored all the commotion and the official red alert, and headed off to work. In retrospective, I suppose I was that much devoted to my daily routine that despite a blizzard I couldn’t let go of my routine. After a long, chilly and tough walk through the snow, I arrived at my work. Not surprisingly, it was deserted. I recall this as the epitome of ignorance. What did I think? Let’s all just risk our lives just to do some lousy work? Anyhow, I tried to spice up the day by heading to a friend. After trying to work and a movie, we got bored and started to wander around in Dublin. All shops, leisure centres and other service providers were closed. But in Ireland one place is always open; the pub. So with limited energy, we indulge ourselves with a pint of Guinness. Didn’t know that a snowstorm induces such a low energy-level but simultaneously an opportunity to spend time with friends.

Meanwhile, the snowstorm continued on. Despite the fact, the consequences of the snowstorm are quite epic (scenic sides throughout the city and quality time with friends and family), I was quite happy it ended on Saturday. For me, Saturday is going down as the best day of the snowstorm. The temperature outside was reasonable. There was no precipitation. And last but not least, I could finally go for a run again after parched for 3 days. As happy as a child I run as a calf on slats’ down the slippery and snowy footpaths, streets and greens. The peak of my run through Phoenix Park was running together with reindeers. It brought me back to the several interactions with reindeers I had while cycling to the Northcape in 2016. Good old time!

Anyhow, all good, bizarre, comfortable and enriching things come to an end. While zipping a Cortado with Frank Sinatra music on the background in a coffee place around the corner, I witness the snow melting steadily away. Simultaneously, the cabin fever and stocking up urge of the Irish diminish as well steadily. An interesting new experience richer. Many to come in the beautiful, cold, wet, charming and intriguing Dublin.

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