近海る (Kin Kairu)

JET, Japan, Journalism and other J words

The Woes of Snow Part 1

There are a lot of JETs that tend to worry about the initial interview. That is, if they didn’t worry themselves out during the application process. “Did I accidentally use staples where I needed paper clips?” and “Did they reject me because I used blue ink instead of black?” are some jokes JET-alumni have used to describe hope-to-be-JETs during the application process (no, really, those were actual questions).  I was ecstatic when I found out I got an interview, to say the least.  But the absolute odyssey I had to go through to get to my interview is worth its own tale.

It all begins one Thursday in February. I had my interview scheduled the upcoming Friday afternoon and I was getting ready for the upcoming six hour drive I had ahead of me. I had another friend named Chris that also got an interview and we agreed to carpool up to Chicago. Car? Check. Hotel? Check. Fresh suit and tie? Check. Only one problem: I had a test that Thursday morning. Even then, local weather stations were calling for the worst blizzard mid-Missouri had seen in ages. When I woke up at 6 a.m. to drive to campus and cram, it could have have been more clear. I scoffed at any notion of an impending storm.  “It’s not going to snow today. No way. No how.” That all changed when I started taking the test around 8 a.m. Not only was it snowing hard, it was also THUNDER SNOW. I don’t know which level of hell decided to split open and unleash its fury on that fateful Thursday, but it was letting everyone know that it was here to be feared.

In that fear, I finished my test early because I knew I needed to leave fast. I rushed home and set off to go pick up Chris. However, Chris happened to live on the outskirts of the town, which was already so covered in snow my car would have gotten stuck otherwise. To top it all off, I could barely see farther than ten feet. After calls back and forth to each other, Chris decided he would have to walk from his house to my location, which took about 40 minutes. When he did enter my vehicle, he was covered from head to toe. Seeing his demise, I blasted the heat and sped to the highway.

Right as we pulled onto the highway, everything came to a dead halt. There was probably about a good 4-5 miles worth of cars just sitting on this highway, not being able to move an inch, with more people trying to get on because they probably think they found “a shorter way home.” After another good hour and a half of waiting, I informed Chris that we should attempt to head back to my place because the Department of Transportation shut down the entire highway for five miles with no word on when it might reopen. He agreed and we were barely able to get off the highway and trudge our way back to shelter.

Now, I live on a hill. This has more disadvantages than anything else, especially when a killer snow storm hits. Cars swerving, getting stuck and attempting, against any notion of common sense, to get out by putting the petal to the metal. I too was an unfortunate soul to get stuck on this hill, even with the encouragement and help of strangers aiding in my release. Regardless, we were no more than a minute walk away from my house, so Chris and I decided to make the trek to my place and wait. There were so many cars stuck on that damn hill that nothing particular was going to happen to mine, anyways.

I WAS WRONG.

To be continued.

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