Thursday, March 02, 2006

As of yesterday (and according to a very questionable Russian calendar) it is now officially spring. This week is the Russian Orthodox equivalent of Mardi Gras (or something of that nature) called Maslenetsa. Thus far, it has consisted of eating lots and lots of blini, or little Russian pancake thingies (so basically, it is absolute heaven). It all culminates on Sunday with a big festival of sorts, where a little grass lady is burned and another half ton of blini is eaten. This information is of course all second hand; I’ll find out for myself what happens on Sunday when I go to Suzdal for a good ol fashion Russian holiday.
Spring thus far has brought lower temperatures and a lot of snow. It’s great too, because this snow isn’t the big fluffy kind, but the little razor-sharp ones that attach your face. At times it looks like a sandstorm outside, and trust me, you don’t want to be outside in these. My running depends on the weather conditions, which haven’t been very favorable lately. So this, combined with the blini-eating extravaganza, is creating one plump Amy.
Spring has showed its face in other ways though. The sun was shining beautifully yesterday (do you see the blue sky in the picture, I think I’ve seen the color blue three times in Russia, so this is very exciting). With the sun, however, brings another danger- that of falling snowing and icicles. I’ve had numerous warning from my teachers to not walk directly under buildings for the next, err, two months or so. They talk about falling icicles with the same seriousness that I would expect them to use when talking about World War II. Falling ice is clearly serious business around here. The city has taken part in helping prevent snow deaths as well by often times blocking off entire sidewalks so people are forced to take to the streets and fight equally annoyed cars. Yes, I think spring will be a beautiful thing is Vladimir. (Did I mention that my teacher told me we wouldn’t get blooming flowers in Vladimir until May 10?!)


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