My first winter, I had exactly one.
In retrospect, it wasn’t that bad. Though at the time, pretty traumatic.
I scraped the car windows and drove out of the slippery, ice covered parking lot. So far, so good. The weather conditions weren’t bad, but I had a 45 minute drive on the autobahn… and as I found out, conditions can change a lot.
It started snowing and I duly slowed down, following the cars in front of me. At one point a van passed me and a hunk of snow fell from his roof and hit my windscreen with a loud thwump. I had a mini heart attack but at least it wasn’t a hunk of ice! When I entered what I thought was the relative safety of the tunnel, the windscreen fogged up so quickly I literally couldn’t see! It took me a few moments to work out where the controls/windscreen wipers were to rectify the problem. But I was still doing ok.
It was when I got off the autobahn that things went bad.
I marvelled at the amount of snow on the sides of the road. At this point the road I was driving on was clear but as I waited to turn left into the university, I realised that I was about to turn onto a snow covered road. Literally covered in inches of snow! Now, I know that the car has special ‘winter’ tyres, but I still have no idea what that means. I watch a couple of cars safely drive down the road so when the light goes green I follow, heart pumping.
The next obstacle is finding a park. The traffic has cleared the road of most of the snow but the parking on either side is just one massive drift. Luckily, it seems a lot of people have stayed home so I pull up to the side, check there’s enough room for cars to get past, and stop. Victory.
TWO HOURS LATER.
It has been snowing steadily and I finish my german lesson and head back to the car. At this point I stop marvelling at the beauty of the falling snow and instead start panicking again because I’m not sure if I can drive my car out. Do I need to dig it out first?
I get in, take a deep breath, start the car and roll backwards a bit, then forwards, then backwards, then forwards. Finally, after a bit of slipping, I gain traction and I’m out on the road.
Oh my God, I’m on the road.
I don’t have to drive home, luckily. I just have to get to the shopping centre where Thomas is meeting me after work. But I’ve never been there before! I navigate snow covered backstreets until I finally find somewhere I can turn around and get back onto a main road.
I am sweating like a demon and my heart is pumping like it’s on a drug-fuelled binge. I am driving as slow as possible and snow is still falling. Finally, I make it to the underground carpark, find a park, stop the car, and burst into tears.
And that’s where it ended. Man, I need a drink right now just writing about this!