Snow + French people = Chaos

So the week before Christmas vacation, there were threats of a “big storm” that was said to yield about 10 cm of snow in the Loire. (10 cm is about 4 inches.) It was “alert orange” which means that it should be bad. And since the school transportation in France does not include large yellow buses, nor is it directed by the school district, but instead includes coach buses organized by some other entity, often the préfecture or réctorat, it’s possible to have school but no transportation. And this is just what happened last week.

As I said, there were threats of a storm and, as we are coming to learn, the French, at least in the Loire, do not deal well with snow. So they decided Thursday night to cancel all the school transportation in the whole département (like a county) for Friday. Well it did not snow one bit. I went to school Friday for nothing because I had no students, as they couldn’t arrive without the buses. This is something about the French system that I just don’t understand. I definitely think it is more practical the way it was for me in NY state – buses organized by the school, so if there is no bus, there is no school. What’s the point of opening the school if the students can’t come? And if the roads/weather is bad enough that the students can’t come, why should the teachers have to risk their lives to come? What sense does that make?

And now for part two:  yesterday.

Yesterday was Christmas, yes. Well it snowed here, and in spite of being used to “a lot of snow” being a few feet, I’d say we got a lot here. It was a few inches in reality, but since people here do not know what to do with snow, it was as bad as if we had had a real blizzard. Granted it was Christmas, I kind of understand why they wouldn’t want to work and go clean the roads, but really it’s a bit ridiculous. People go out on Christmas to be with family. It’s really just not safe that they didn’t bother to clean the roads. They were awful, completely covered in snow, ice, slush and gunk.

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