So it’s snowing in Istanbul. With nearly 30 brutal Minnesota winters under my belt, you’d think I’d seen it all when it comes to arctic weather conditions, but the past few days have proved that wrong.
- Everyone freaks out. Before the snow accumulates, schools are canceled, people leave work, and the streets become ghost towns. And Istanbul’s online forums/groups are quite literally blowing up about snow-related topics. Even when someone posts something vague like, “any news?” everyone intuitively understands they must be asking if school is
- It thunders and lightnings. Well, that was unexpected! Never experienced that one.
- You see sunshowers, but with snow. Is there even a word for this? Sunsnowers? Other ideas? Another first for this blizzard veteran.
- You get flakes that more closely resemble mini-snowballs. Really. It’s shaped like hail, but entirely snow. Again, not really a thing in Minnesota, unless being gone for a month has somehow erased the “snow memories” folder in my brain?
Definitely comment if you can pinpoint any snow-lightning/sunsnower/snow-pellet-related experiences (say that ten times fast!) I may have had living in a tundra.
- Istanbul deploys all of its snow-related resources (spoiler: not that many). In more than one mile (don’t feel like using the metric system anymore) of walking these past few days, I’ve witnessed one snowplow (that seemed to be having some trouble) and zero particles of road salt. The whole salt-free thing is a problem given how crazy hilly it is here (think San Francisco).
- People get resourceful. While stores here don’t sell tampons (seriously), they apparently do sell sleds because we saw a kid get transported down the street in one. I also saw many umbrellas, which seemed super silly at first. To be fair, given the big, wet snowflakes here, I suppose there’s some sense to it. But you still won’t see this Minnesota native use an umbrella as a snow-shield anytime soon.