Monday, November 28, 2011

Winter has Arrived

A couple of days ago it snowed and with the fall in temperature the snow stayed on the ground.  It is now the third day with temperatures around zero Farenheit or -17C.  There are clear blue skies and a light wind, but still the wind chill can be felt.  The view from my desk is really quite pretty when there is snow "cleaning" everything up.

The trouble is that the snow does not get cleared very effectively.  The major roads are eventually ploughed and traffic heat clears them but the side streets and most sidewalks are packed snow or ice.  We only had a few centimeters of snow, so it isn't packed very deep, but that makes it no less slippery.  

This morning it was even colder.  The view out the window of our bedside clock and thermometer is on the right.  The temperature was flickering between -21 and -22.  Another cold day.

Yesterday the ice was solid across the river on the north side (upstream) of the bridge, but there was still a channel of water on the south side.  However it was very icy on the bridge and cars were slipping all over.  Sandra's minibus taking her to work couldn't make it over the hump of the bridge and had to have several attempts, before it was able to  get to the downward slope.  At lunchtime yesterday she missed the bus home and had to walk.  But by the time she arrived back she was very cold, and ended up going back to the office after lunch on the bus.  Yesterday afternoon I had to make desserts fo a dinner we were invited to, so actually went to the stores three times, twice on foot and later in the dark by taxi.  Early afternoon I walket up Satpayeva Street and they were starting to erect the Christmas Tree on Mahambet Square.
In my cold outside garb, still snow on my boots!
 Today after going to meet Sandra in Asia for lunch, I walked along to The Renco residences to buy a gift for a birthday aprty we were going to, then I headed over to the store, and finally home.  The distances between stops are only a kilometer or so, but the total distance is about 5km.  This seems one of the differences between the cold we experienced in Canada and Colorado (where temperatures are even colder) and here....we go out in it more here.  In North America one goes from home to car to shopping mall, we always walk the 1.5km  round trip to the supermarket, and it is not just cold it is slippery, with the sidewalks covered in thick ice, and the roads even worse at the corners where one tries to scurry across, add two heavy shopping bags and it is an accident waiting to happen.  The other day I went for a big shop (that means buying the heavy stuff, diet coke, wine, carrots and potatoes etc, not spending "big"), and planned to call a taxi to get home.  Unfortunately as I finished checking out I reached for my phone to find I had left it at home.  Without a cell phone one cannot get a taxi, so I had a slow and painful walk back.  With heavy bags and my fingers really hurt, until they were so cold I couldn't feel them, and it was fine.

The river is now fully frozen.  It looked that way, but I was not sure until I watched someone walk across it.  Yesterday it was still water!  There are two schools of thought, the locals really know and understand the river (which I assume) or the locals have a love of ice fishing greater than a love of life (Sandra expounds this theory, and points to the number of deaths of people falling through the ice as evidence).  Surprising to say, we have not been out on the river yet...

No comments:

Post a Comment