Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who knew? Beer is non-alcoholic

We keep forgetting to mention this astounding fact. At least in Russia, beer is considered a soft drink, like Coke, and is occasionally sold in 2 liter plastic bottles just in case someone thought that was a joke. A Russian who claims never to drink might be telling the truth and still downing a few beers every night. Crazy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

We are living in a statistical anomaly.

My boss in the past looked up the average number of sunny days in St Petersburg in the month of December. The source he found gave an average of zero days. Since you can not have negative days to bring the average down that basically says there is no sun in St Petersburg in December. There probably is a day or two every decade so that rounding brings it to zero.

When I was in the states on facebook people in St Petersburg were posting about seeing the sun. Now today for a short period this afternoon I saw blue skies and sun. It seems this December we have seriously bucked the sun stats. Probably there will be no sun in St Petersburg during the month of December for the next two decades.

Settling in

St. Pete decided to welcome us back with a massive snowstorm. The snowfall itself is well over a foot and drifts are taller than me. It took Terry three or four trips outside to shovel out the car.

I had heard that the streets aren't plowed and sidewalks not shoveled and said to myself "OK this is something to learn to deal with." You can't truly comprehend what it means until you're faced with it. How to push a stroller on a "sidewalk" that consists of tampered down snow interspersed with piles of slushy drifts and the whole thing is the width of a person anyway. I have yet to figure out who gets the right of way; no matter which direction I travel it always seems to be the folks coming the other way. Driving is little better as the streets are in the same situation, except the width of the packed down snow is a car. Studded snow tires make lots of sense and I'm sure glad Terry got some on the car before he came home to get us.

I have yet to venture out with either stroller or car - so far it's been me alone or Zoltan in the Moby (a wrap - which is like a sling in concept). If I am not to go stir crazy though, I will need to brave the streets in some way, so I plan a test run in the car this week ... on a day our babysitter comes, as I don't want to be responsible for the children in case things don't go well.

The good news is the open space next to our building does seem to be free of the citizenry who populated it during the summer, so I should be able to get Alex out to play in the snow if I can ever get her and Zoltan's naps timed well enough that they are both properly up and not eating at the same time when the sun is out. It's like a logic game ... I love logic games!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Reunited at last

Terry has returned to the USA to assist me in bring the kids back to Russia. This is what I have to look forward to ... a recent conversation between Terry and his boss...

Boss: "I don't think the sun came out today at all"
Terry: "Of course the sun's out. It is a slightly lighter gray than it was this morning."
Boss: "If you can't see the sun is it still out?"