Russian Language Blog

Russian Winter – An Annual Event Posted by on Dec 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

Until I moved to Russia – and even more so after arriving in Siberia – I never knew the strength and power and glory of «колготки» [pantyhose; or just plain ol’ tights]. This word is plural, and only in plural (perhaps because there’s two legs to each pair, or because it is just that – a pair – but hey, what do I know?), so the genitive form will be «колготок». In Russia tights can be a true life-saver. In my collection of tights I have tights for all kinds of weather. I could actually make f scale of my tights according to their ‘heat factor’ if I wanted to and had an extra 30 minutes. Tonight I woke up from being too cold, and I figured it was minus 20 outside, which would make the temperature in my dormitory room on the corner of the building about 10 above Celsius. Straight away, though hardly awake, I knew what kind of tights was needed. I got up and put on a pair under my pajamas pants – my choice was the next to warmest kind, because the warmest are so thick that it would make me sweat, and waking up sweating is almost as bad as waking up from being cold. I almost went back to bed after this, but then I remember something wise I had heard from old people – when it is cold, wear a hat. Because 80% of the body’s heat leaves through the head, wise old people have told me.

It is early in the morning and outside my window it is dark, but the snow is pure and white and new and sparkling in the glow from the street lights. I love early Russian winter mornings, when you walk through the new snow, when it is softly crushed underneath your shoes, and the white air that leaves your mouth looks like cotton candy, and everyone is cold and rushing somewhere long before dawn… And there’s ice and frost on the windows of the buses, and you can only see people in there through the wholes in the frost that they’ve made with the heat from their hands. And everyone’s wearing fur coats and fur hats and after a while you notice that you’ve got white frost on the tips of your eyelashes…

I love the Russian winter. This year it arrived one month later than usually, but that’s nothing, that’s alright, that’s okay – I’m all about forgiveness. Especially now that the snow is here!

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  1. Saint:

    Woah, it was the same temp here in Denver today! I love how the icycles form on your hat from the breath.