The snow is finally here! As I sit here typing this, it is softly falling outside and the temperatures are hovering around -5C. Pure joy greeted its arrival as the children spent Monday and Tuesday's playtimes building snowbases and various other constructions around the yard. The joy did not extend to their parents, however, some of whom had to sit in long queues of traffic on the way into Moscow due to the necessary slowdown created by the weather conditions.
The weather is due to get colder, however: -20 on Monday if Yandex (Russian website) is to be believed. After the pathetic nature of the last two winters, I am hopeful of a decent winter which will mean that I can actually use my cold weather clothing! And possibly even get in some ice-skating on the frozen paths in Gorky Park or Sokolniki Park.
Even after 6-7 years here I enjoy the winter. My better half hasn't quite taken to it (she's been through more of them, given that she's from here!) but it remains something special and different to me. It reminds me of some of the better aspects of life in Moscow:
- permanent heating from the middle of October until the beginning of April;
- the knowledge that despite everything, the Metro keeps running and will still get you to your destination on time;
- that there really isn't any such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
- the resilient nature of Russians who just carry on with life in weather that would have Brits and other hibernating for days/weeks;
- how a covering of snow just adds a touch of beauty to even the least attractive buildings, not to mention an additional layer of loveliness to places such as the Kremlin or Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
I am typing this on my new little netbook via another great Moscow system - 4G wireless network. After enduring 1.5 months of hassle with a cable-based system at home, and seemingly no resolution in sight, we cut our losses and went for the new wireless system offered by Yota. Absolutely fantastic, and family in the UK are rather impressed at the fact that it is 4G rather than the 3G system that they currently have. So - nice one, Moscow!