Tuesday, February 25, 2003

As a former resident of a snow-rich region now living in a snow-starved one, I am delighted to offer a bit of advice to snowbound Israelis, in the hope that they might avoid the common mistakes of the snow-neophytes living in these parts:

  • Cars are actually fairly powerful machines, and can often drive through small amounts of snow at speeds even greater than normal human walking speed.

  • If you nevertheless suddenly feel uncomfortable attempting to drive through the current depth of snow, it is generally considered good etiquette to pull your car over to the side of the road before abandoning it in a fit of feckless panic. This rule is particularly important on major highways and thoroughfares.

  • If you should find your car stuck in the snow, with your cars wheels spinning furiously to no avail, it is unlikely that sitting in your car and continuing to (literally) spin your wheels for hours on end will do any good. On the other hand, a solid push to the back of the car (best administered by a passenger or passerby), in conjunction with a light tap on the accelerator, can often dislodge the car safely.

  • If multiple drivers find themselves stuck in close proximity, then they can assist each other in this manner to free each car in succession, thus possibly saving an important thoroughfare from becoming clogged by abandoned cars.
  • If you decide to ignore these suggestions, please make sure that no snow-literate people are around to notice. Otherwise, be prepared to be asked whether you are from the Seattle area.
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