Monday, January 23, 2006

Russian Winter 101…

I had it coming, honestly. I should have known that whatever-higher-power-there-be was going to kick me in my ass sooner or later here in regards to the whole winter issue. Up till now, I have been enjoying a fairly warm winter, at times it was much warmer than in Pueblo and I often made jokes at the expense of my family and friends. Most of the jokes, I think comments is a much better word, went something like this: "Ha! I’m in Russia enjoying sunshine and warm temperatures, while you’re in Pueblo, Colorado and are much colder than I." I also often told those around me here about the weather conditions in Pueblo, and how everyone at home must be jealous of me. Well, no need to be jealous any more. If you haven’t heard on the news, because I really don’t know what the news in the States are saying about it or even if they’ve mentioned it, but Russia is in the midst of one of the coldest periods in its history. For over a week, all of Russia has been experiencing below average temperatures for this time of the year –in Rostov, it has been -25C for the last week (that is about -11F) and other parts of the country are even colder than that. It has been snowing practically non-stop and the wind chill alone is enough to freeze everyone to death; in fact, all over the country there have been deaths (over 40 so far) due to the cold.

Now it would be out of character for me to complain about such conditions…okay, who the hell am I kidding? I love complaining so I’m going to get a few things off my chest about this weather. First off, it is practically impossible, it must defy all rules of nature, to be this cold for so long. In Colorado, it may get cold, even freezing, but not for this long. After a day or two of dealing with this sort of weather at home, its over and the sun is out warming everything up. But NO…it couldn’t possible do that here, could it? That would be asking way too much. That would be like asking to find sliced bread here in the "supermarket," which you NEVER can. Now to be truthful, experiencing this sort of weather was fun for me the first few days, but now its just a pain… Every morning it’s the same thing, I wake up shaking because my room, even though I have central heating and a space heater going, has turned into a refrigerator; then I must put on almost every article of clothing, seriously I put on at least six layers of clothing before going outside; and then I must traverse snow and ice that lines the sidewalks, sometimes the snow comes up to my knees, because the Russian government won’t spend money or time on paying people to clean the sidewalks or streets (we Americans have nothing to complain about because at least we know if it snows a lot, the plows will be out by early morning at least attempting to clean the streets for us). This is enough to drive anyone mad, especially when mixed with a little cabin fever, which I’ve been dealing with for awhile now, and not to mention the fact I’m not the most sane person I know…

Anyway, on a lighter note…oh wait, there is no light note. Let’s see what else would you all find interesting, because I’m sure you’re all laughing at imagining my life right now, so laugh on. Although it is this unnaturally cold and drifting snow has almost made visibility out my window zero, I still have been out in the weather quite a bit. In fact, life goes on here and Russians are all walking around acting as if it’s the middle of summer, well except they are wearing a lot of clothing –they maybe crazy but they’re not insane, they know how to dress for this weather. Everyday, I have gone out at least once for a few hours to go shopping for food, look for something to keep me busy, or to come to the department to e-mail and do some work on the internet. I guess I have become a little Russian in spirits anyway, because although I find this all inconvenient I still continue to live life everyday. Of course, I can’t stand the coldness as much as my Russian peers and often have ran back into my room to spend many hours staring at the walls in the hope of not turning into an icicle. All in all though, I have to say that I wouldn’t have experienced life in Russia without putting up with its notorious winter, so I’m a little glad that I am doing it right now. Plus, wait till I get back, you guys are going to love some of the stories I have about this last week…

I have to keep some secrets about life here, or I’ll have nothing to talk to you guys about when I return. So with all this said, I need to start a small fire in my room’s trashcan or I’ll be coming back as an unflavored popsicle…

Look for pictures soon of the Russian Winter!

1 Comments:

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Riekena said...

Unflavored! That's my favorite kind! But hey, you're not fooling anyone...we all know that you don't have to start a fire in your trash can because you can just switch the light on and off a few times to really warm things up. Seriously though, be careful - it's freezing balls over there, and I'm assuming you still want those.

 

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