Monday, February 2, 2009

XXI: Angel in the Snow

I woke up this morning around 9 a.m. to the obnoxious sound of my phone ringing. Dammit. I was having a good dream. I was a Bond girl and my personal 007 was a vampire that looked kind of like Eddie. But he wasn't Eddie. He was Edward Cullen. But he was also James Bond. And we had just finished ridding the world of the EVIL French terrorist Michel - who had long blonde hair and a penguin tuxedo. He was trying to bomb Parliament and somehow, Bond and I outsmarted him and found ourselves going on a speedboat chase along the River Thames, where I pulled out my super-sleek handgun and lodged a bullet in his head. It was awesome.

Vampire Bond and I were walking through the lobby of Parliament (which I have no REAL idea what it looks like), and we were gazing out the window into a snowy evening. I was still wearing my long silver gown and stiletto heels (again, proof that it was a dream because I could NEVER pull that off in real life), him in a dashing pin-stripe suit. The image looked like the ending scene of a real Bond movie, the feeling of victory and heroism dominating the atmosphere. He had just put his arm around me and we were about to make our way home so he could change me into a vampire... when the thin cell phone in my silver clutch began to ring. Then I realized, it was my REAL cell phone that was ringing.

So I shook myself out of the dreamscape to answer the phone number that I didn't recognize. It was Simon from Specsavers and he was calling to let me know that the store would be closed today and that I would have to reschedule my 11:30 eye appointment. He said that the weather conditions were too bad for them to open the store today. Huh?

So I hung up with Simon, and stumbled to my bedroom window. I opened the curtain, and voila! A thick blanket of snow covered the street, houses and cars before me. GORGEOUS. My first instinct was to pile on the layers and go outside to play. But I thought it might be better to check the news first to see how London transport was going to deal with this craziness (since I technically had a class to attend tonight).

I was a little bit worried about going out in this flurry (the snow is STILL falling now as I type). But my anxieties were alleviated when I saw an e-mail from the professor David Cunningham.. the subject line read: "Class Cancelled: Monday 2nd February." Turns out my professor lives in an area of London where the buses were cancelled so there was no way for him to get to campus. A couple minutes later, I get another e-mail from the University that says ALL classes are cancelled and that even the library was going to be closed. This day just keeps getting better and better.

I watched the news for a while, and discovered that London has NO CLUE how to deal with this - they closed down most of the buses and some of the tube lines (I don't know why, because they're underground) and pretty much... the city was forced to come to a semi-stand-still because nobody knew how to get anywhere. My German housemate Anika thought it was pretty funny.. she's used to having snow in Berlin and was amused that the entire city of London didn't know how to deal with it.

"In Berlin, nobody would understand what all the fuss is about," she said...

Either way, I think it's pretty cool - because I've never lived in a city where school actually got CANCELLED because of snow. In fact, I bet everyone is at home sweating in the wind right now in Simi Valley.

And since all of London decided that today was going to be a full-fledged snow day, I figured I might as well spend it doing irresponsible things.. in other words, no school-related reading allowed.

I put on my thermals, my jeans, 3 pairs of socks, leather boots, 3 shirts, a black hoodie, a coat, a scarf and a hat... and headed out the front door with my camera to take a little walk. I didn't get very far though... because I found my other housemate Reza at the corner with his 6 full grocery bags placed carefully on the sidewalk, standing in concerned confusion as some hacidic Jews were trying to get their car to move. I asked him what was going on... and he said he wanted to help them.

See... Muslims and Jews can be friends! He DID help them, actually, and he even got the driver to smile at him - I don't think I've ever seen that before. Then... our other housemate Kim came walking down the street with grocery bags too... so we stopped there a while to enjoy the scenery. I helped them carry some bags back to the house...

Since school was cancelled for ALL of us, we figured we'd go out to our garden to play. So we created a new housemate... the androgynous snowman Charlie Mak:

All the news people say that things will be back to normal tomorrow... but at the rate the snow is coming down (like huge chunks of foam), I don't know how true that will be. Maybe I'll get lucky again and my Tuesday class will be cancelled too. It's just too beautiful outside to want to do anything productive...


EDIT 7:17 p.m.
How embarrassing... London should've been more prepared for this.

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