Ice Ice Baby
Last Wednesday, we got our first snow in Kirovograd. On Thursday I laced up my boots, took a scary marshrutka ride to work, and walked around with warm feet while observing the girls in their high heels, sliding down the hill by the library. In fact, my feet were hot because the boots I brought are 1200 gram Thinsulate!
That same day, I was told that by the weekend, there would be rain instead of snow. I was not happy about that news. Having lived for many years in Minnesota, I know what rain in December means – bad news. I told the person who said it was good that no, what it will mean is that the day after the rain, the temperature will drop, and everything will be covered in a layer of ice, which will stay until, say, March.
But hey, we’re in Ukraine, right? MAYBE it will be different here.
True to the forecast, it rained on Saturday. However, by Sunday morning, the rain had turned to snow, and indeed, there was a layer of snow on the ground, over the layer of ice from the rain. This was joined by a little more snow last night – we are not getting any significant amounts here, just enough so that it is white instead of grey outside.
But despite the snow and ice on the ground, this morning I left my room with my “sneakers” on instead of my boots. Maybe not the wisest decision, but I am so not ready to wear my boots constantly for the next three or four months. And what did I see outside as I walked? Hoar frost covering everything, and that layer of ice still on the ground. It was really pretty. But what did it mean? It meant it was cold enough for that layer of ice to still be everywhere. Luckily for me, I have those years spent in a state where there is also a layer of ice on the ground all winter, so I did not immediately wipe out. I trod carefully, like a kitty cat, across the ice. So while I was not able to reach full walking speed, I was going faster than a turtle.
So, I sit here with cold feet, thinking it seems that winter is following the Ukrainian schedule of seasons, and has arrived to stay. My experience when I arrived, though, is that spring does not follow this schedule…why is it that only the cold months come “on time” and the warm ones are delayed?
The good news about all this is, because of the bundling up against the cold, I “look” more like a Ukrainian now…until they see my mittens. I have not seen anyone over the age of 6 wearing mittens here, except me. Well, I guess there will always be a giveaway…