Snow chaos and strike in London

Snow chaos and strike in London

Winter in London, finally everything is pollinated again. From the top of the plane you can see slowly gliding islands of ice, cloud tankers or freezing fog, as later reported in the news, which, like the fragments of a huge floe, push together and separate, revealing the landscape below and the deceptively salmon-colored morning. The same feeling on the ground, on every wheel, on every branch a coat of snow, the first pedestrians in the city seem enchanted: London in white, a dull, happy unity.

In fact, everything should be settled. Stepping out of the door at City Airport or on the Tube in Gatwick, voices will tell you what to do if you see something that doesn’t look right: let the police know and the British Transport Police will take care of it. About everything that doesn’t look right! Great. A few meters further on the steps to the subway: “Please be careful, one step at a time, don’t rush yourself.” So nothing can happen in this illusion of total security, even if there is nowhere to say: Stay at home if you don’t risk it wanna freeze, wait, get stuck.

You have to understand it

In this case, it’s the approaching snowstorm that doesn’t look right, and secondarily the climate, but there’s no time for that much abstraction, at least the Freezing Fog is very topical. Nobody in London is prepared for that, as a taxi driver later says at walking pace, something like this happens too seldom, you have to understand that. So first a three-airport experience in one day: Gatwick in its ugly functionality, where there is no electricity from any socket. London City, where people have to hang around in the check-in antechamber. And Heathrow with its claustrophobic corridors. Then the realization: British Airways no longer flies to Frankfurt. Not from London City, and, but that will remain secret for the time being, for the sake of tension, not from Heathrow the next day either. As long as you hope and move something, as long as it’s and stays dark outside anyway and so uncomfortable, it’s not that bad.

But then in the night the total standstill. Motorists skidding on ice, panicking and leaving their cars in the middle of the road. Travelers who stray, who stand rubbing their hands at silent stations. Getting up early is free, because most of the taxi drivers didn’t get up, nothing flies anyway. The employees in the hotels, who have to turn people away in droves and get everything, also wish they hadn’t gotten up. The British friendliness despite everything, this willingness to sympathize. “Never mind,” says the bus driver, because the change has run out. And the shame about their own German resentment, the visible uproar. Whoever you want to hiss at, it’s the wrong one.

Anyone who has money and reads the news (the state of emergency remains) takes the train – but quickly, because a strike is imminent. The Eurostar to Brussels is fully booked for days, but it’s still running, punctually in fact, and sitting in it, proud and triumphant, the countryside around Canterbury suddenly looks picturesque again, and all who made it breathe easy. Above the entrance to the compartment, the neon sign reads: “Offensive behavior will not be tolerated. Don’t even risk it.” Where would you end up? So in the warmth, a snow chaos when traveling can be endured well.


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