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Global American

Travel Nightmare -- Millions Stuck Outside in Rain and Snow

By Michael Fjetland

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[January 31, 2008]  Imagine being stranded on vacation -- with over a MILLION of other people, and all of you are stuck in the rain because the trains and cars can't move because of snow. It makes the cold snap in the U.S. Midwest look civilized in comparison.

More than 1 million. Over 180 million Chinese are trying to travel over the Chinese New Year -- the only chance for some couples to see each other in two to three years. Travelers were shown on TV last night packed like sardines at train terminals, stuck in the rain with only umbrellas for protection -- and nowhere to go. They have to somehow stand in the cold and rain (or snow) for several more days since there is "no room at the inn."

It's so bad that even the Chinese premier, fearing chaos, showed up on a platform to apologize in person. Riots have started breaking out. It's like half of the U.S. population left out in the elements. The worst snow in 50 years has locked down the entire transport system at the worst possible time, with millions of people trying to travel and caught in the weather, with nothing moving and little shelter. For these people, it's "the day the earth stood still." And it's expected to last another three days.

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It makes our problems with gas prices, picking a president and dealing with corrupt local officials look small in comparison! New York City is reporting the first "no snow" January in 75 years! At least we aren't standing for hours in the rain or snow with 100 million other people.

Personally, I will be braving the U.S. Midwest cold over the weekend -- my surviving grandmother is turning 100 Feb. 1. It's not every day that you turn 100, so the trip is worth the weather. Yesterday I found out Granny has caught the flu, so who knows how this will play out. The flu shot apparently hasn't covered a nasty strain that came out of Australia.

It also happens to be "Buddy Holly weekend" (along with Chinese New Year). Holly died near Clear Lake, Iowa, in a plane accident. Costs a whole $5 to get in for the observance.

With the politicians gone, at least there are some rooms at the inns...

(Photo: Travel nightmare in China)

[Text from file received from Global American on behalf of Michael Fjetland]

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