Out of shovels

If you plan to buy a snow shovel in Finland... don't bother. The shops have run out of them.

The picture to the right is a table/bench combo in our garden: as you can see, the snow layer is about 60 cm thick. It's not a very huge amount, but it is more than usual for the southern coastline, which often goes with very little snow due to the "heat" from sea. Normally, Helsinki region winter is a season of slush from November to March.

Shops are running out of snow-clearing equipment. Also, the councils are running out of money - not only because of snow though it does make things worse - so they are simply not clearing out as much as they should. The roads are passable, but not in a good driving condition. And some people don't understand that when choosing how fast you drive, you should take into account the road conditions. People talk a lot about faulty Toyota accelerators, but I think that stupid driving is still a thousand times more relevant risk for any Toyota owner.

With the 60 cm layer all about, it's good that our household has three able-bodied men to do the snow-work. I used to hear from inner-city-dwellers how they despise living in a suburban house because you may have to work on the snow, while in the city you can let the 'servants' do it. Well, now it seems, in the city you cannot really have the servants do it for you after all - they are not able to arrange it properly, they don't have the men, they don't have the equipment. Which is why a 4-wheel-drive SUV is particularly suitable for those who live and drive in downtown Helsinki. If you need to drive - and many of us need to - then us suburbanites can do with regular, little cars.

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