Posted: November 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Finally, we got our first snow here in Ulyanovsk. I’ve been waiting for it for a long time. I especially wanted the snow because it had already snowed at home and at Lafayette. Cold weather doesn’t bother me so long as there is snow. I have been in a great mood the last few days, all because of the snow. I woke up on  Tuesday morning to see snow flakes drifting through the air and lightly dusting the group. Then, after a day of lessons, I left the university with a few friends. As soon as I stepped outside into the snow, I had a huge smile on my face and I was jumping around like an idiot. Conversely, the Russians all let out sighs of regret. Call me slightly insensitive, but this only made me laugh and smile more. Then they just gave me weird looks, but it’s okay, I’m used to getting weird looks like that all the time at home. I’m comfortable with being awkward.

Snow isn’t anything new to me, I just regress to a childlike state every time it snows. I guess snow has always had a positive connotation in my subconscious. Snow always meant delays or school cancellations. Snow meant playing outside with my dad and brother while mom looked on from the windows. Snow meant sledding and snowball fights. Snow also meant going skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing with my family.

Snow makes me happy. Throwing snow balls makes me happier.

I was making dinner later that same night when a few of my neighbors got excited. As they are from Turkmenistan, and one of their friends is from Dagestan, snow isn’t as common a feature in their lives. They said they were going out to take photos and to play in the snow. Naturally, I had to join them. We played around for a few minutes before they got cold and wanted to go back inside.

I love my neighbors, well except for when they play really loud house/trance/electro music but c'est la vie in Russia.

The snow situation here and back home is somewhat funny for me. Here I am, living in a smaller and lesser known city in Russia. I was talking to my parents and brother on skype a few days ago. After the snow in Connecticut, a place that regularly gets more than 6 inches of snow at a time in the winter, my family was without power for about 12 hours. They were lucky. A week later, a good portion of the town was still without power. We had a similar situation after Hurricane Irene. Part of the difficulty of being without power where I come from is that the majority of the houses have well water. This means that when there is no power, there is no water in the house. I’m living in Russia, a country that is sometimes ridiculed in the West for its standards of living; however, I am living far better than the majority of the people in one of the richest areas of America. I have always had power here. We have also always had water here, and except for one week of routine maintenance, we have always had hot water. This wasn’t a problem as I lived for almost three weeks without hot water in St. Petersburg. Usually, the hot water is clean too. Sometimes it comes out reddish/brownish, and on those days I decide that I can brave a cold shower. It builds character, or so I like to tell myself.

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