I am experiencing my first winter in Victoria and for the most part, it has been milder than further north in Campbell River where I have spent the last 15 winters. But! We were hit with a couple of snowstorms and I was able to stay home for the first one, but was caught at UVic, where I am a student, trying to get home yesterday.
Normally no one at the UVic campus bus stop talks to each other or to me, but all of us being in a common plight created a camaraderie I have never seen there before. No one knew whether it was worthwhile to wait in the blowing snow and bus drivers were only saying that it might be up to a two hour wait. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the campus was closed, so cars were trying to leave as buses were trying to get in and out. I considered walking, then when someone circulated the rumour that our bus was cancelled, another young student and myself who realized we lived nearby each other thought we might try to get a taxi. I called my friend Gilberto who was driving but said he was going in the opposite direction.
The young student and I started walking and eventually ended up at McKenzie and Shelbourne at a Starbucks. It was good to get into a place that was warm and dry! Many students were in there, strategizing about how they were going to get home. My new friend and I tried all the taxi companies, but their lines were busy. I called Glberto once more, but he was stuck in the snow in Brentwood Bay! He said we would never get a taxi on a day like this. Just when it looked as if our only recourse was to walk the rest of the way, the girl next to us said “There’s a number 39 bus!” That was our bus, and we made a dash for it. When I arrived at the bus stop, I announced to the anxious looking people waiting there that the bus was around the corner. Everyone was so relieved! Luckily there were two in a row, and the second one was not full. So I made it home and as it turned out, the bus was only behind about one hour.
So I arrived home safe and sound and it was so good to get warm and dry. I made hot chocolate and turned on the news to see how the city was faring. I reflected that it really wasn’t so bad walking in the snow and I might just try it again. It was also nice to converse with the people around me at the bus stop rather than just stand there alone and waiting. They say that Vancouver Island is Lotus Land, and it is most of the time, but it is still Canada!