Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Snow joke

Yesterday it snowed. A lot. From about midday for at least eight hours or so, which makes me happy for a few reasons:

1) I like snow.
2) It makes me thankful I don't need to drive in Moscow.
3) It makes a mockery out of Moscow's Mayor Yury Luzhkov's latest project.

The first point is self-explanatory. Snow is somewhat of a luxury in Ireland, and it's not too windy here, so providing you have a warm enough coat and boots, you're fine, especially if it hangs around minus fifteen/twenty (as the snow lies long enough and is less likely to become a sheet of ice). It's dry underfoot, and as long as it's not windy it's rather pleasant.

Secondly, cast your mind back to a few posts ago, where I posted a couple of pictures of a minor traffic jam. Wasn't really a jam at all, more a run of the mill tailback. My flat looks out on the ring road, and I only live about ten minutes walk away from my workplace. I was just told earlier by a comrade-in-arms that, what would normally take him about 15 minutes to drive home, took him three-and-a-half hours. The worst I have heard was six for another. Last night there were still jams and the occasional siren outside my window when I went to bed at about 11pm.

Lastly, Luzhkov, who is not exactly the most repellent politician in the world (were we to include certain African states), recently came up with a wonderful idea of how to combat such snowfall to prevent such traffic problems - cloud seeding. He believes, by cloud seeding from now until mid-March, he can save millions on the capital's street cleaners (who already do an excellent job) and probably more on lost man hours. Instead, it will allegedly cost less to have a couple of aircraft from the Russian Air Force going up and down several hundred times over the course of four months. Clearly no one there has a clue how much it costs to maintain aircraft, regardless of backhanders and subsidies.

As yesterday clearly demonstrated, this idea hasn't worked. At least I think it hasn't. I'm not sure it's been fully implemented, and even if it is, snow still has to fall elsewhere - likely onto places where people commute from outside the city, but hey - that's not Luzhkov's problem!

One thing is for sure - somebody out there doesn't like the idea that a migrant work force is cleaning up the city, and doesn't want to pay them anymore.

[Yes, I know it's a terrible headline.]

No comments:

Post a Comment