Thursday, February 7, 2013

Scare tactics

"You are riding your bike to work? On those busy streets? Aren't you scared? It's dangerous!". How many times have you heard something like this? I guess, we like to be reminded requently about the "danger" waiting for us around every corner. And when we tell our kids to put those tools down and don't play with "dangerous" toys, kids in Norway learn how to use a hammer and cut wood with a saw. A real one. In kindergarten (I can't give you a link but I read about Scandinavian children upgringing several months ago).

We are supposed to get up to 2 feet of snow tomorrow night. Weather reports are filled with scare tactics: Blizzard is coming! Stay home! Buy bottled water! I never really understood this panic mode many people here seem to follow in such situations. When I happen to be in a supermarket just a day before the blizzard I see most of the water bottles gone, batteries, canned food, etc. And I think to myself: "Is this the end of the world?". No, it isn't. It is supposed to be only 2 feet of snow. Supposed to, which means that usually it is less than that. And even if we get 3 feet of snow, it is winter now. Snow is not something unusual, right?

I also wonder why I never witnessed such panic mode when living in Europe and I can't find a simple explanation. Maybe it is because many of European low-voltage electrical lines are underground so you would never have that many downed wires as here and, as a result, electrical blackouts. Or maybe just people are different. Or media reports are less dramatic. Or both. I am not sure.

But I am sure that tomorrow would be just another great day to ride a bike.

Stay warm. Happy shoveling!

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