Snow in your dreams

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Sometimes it snows in the Sahara. At least that’s the way it seems, from photos that I’ve seen on the news pages of several social media platforms recently. I can understand the idea of snow capped mountain tops in the Kilimanjaro, but accumulated snow, resting on sand dunes is a sight I never thought I would see.

Friends have sent me video clips via Whatsapp of Africans trudging through the snow in American cities, cursing the elements in their native tongues as they are wrapped up in winter coats and several layers of clothes. Are they living the dream?

Other clips I’ve received display the impact of snow blizzards on the streets and general neighbourhoods, again in US cities. In one of these, I heard a running commentary about the fact that most schools were closed, many people were taking time off work, but the commentator couldn’t dare to take time off, because she struggled for months before actually getting the job and she couldn’t risk losing it by not showing up, regardless of the inclement weather conditions.

Obviously this sort of weather arrives with a season. I remember a time I was in New York when the pavements were hot to the extent that it felt like the heat was melting the crocs I was wearing. Some of us are used to the ups and downs of the temperature.

On the other hand, I also remember a sad tale of a man who had not lived in the UK since childhood, but returned to London from Nigeria in his forties. He didn’t know how to manage things when the temperature dropped and eventually passed away in bed, due to the effects of hypothermia.

Is the grass always greener on the other side?

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