Friday, January 19, 2007

A high probability of wind in the Netherlands

Dude, where's my car?!
Originally uploaded by ►APE-NUT-SACK◄.
It has been ridiculously windy in the Netherlands during the last weeks. In these circumstances one realises what it means to live next to the Atlantic. I have seen people falling down with their bikes only due to the wind.

Yesterday it got totally out of hand. In the morning we were laughing with colleagues as it was difficult to make way to the nearby cafe. Towards the afternoon the mood changed as the news started coming in. Flights were cancelled. Two people were killed when a tree fell on a car. The railway station of Amsterdam was closed because of the risk of the roof falling down. All train traffic was cancelled. Sound blocks on the motorway fell on the street.

Colleagues started checking that their children were OK and packed their bags early to head home. Reception checked whether there is still room in the nearby hotel. Meetings were cancelled. Taxi traffic was stopped for several hours.

I had to fly yesterday evening to Heathrow, London. Around four it became clear that the flight was cancelled but they still advised to head to the airport for rescheduling. I texted my mother and got a worried SMS back in half a minute. I asked her not to worry.

At the airport things were surprisingly calm and they put me on an earlier flight to London. With my friend we spent the evening eating pasta and watching the extended debate on the racist comments on Celebrity Big Brother. Now I am having a late breakfast in a cafe on the sunny South Bank. All good and well in the end.

It was interesting following people's reactions yesterday. I am not used to being scared of nature and found myself being rather calm. Some of my colleagues reacted panicky to every single loud sound - one caused by me when my backpack fell down from a chair and knocked down a lamp. I was wondering why I stayed so calm. I guess it is the Finnish trust on the state to fix things and belief that strategies for situations like these have been planned. I don't even know if that is the case.

Have to go. 30 mins in an Internet cafe is over.

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