A view of the improved weather from our Hostel
Finally, after two months of harsh winter conditions with temperatures of – 20 degree Fahrenheit and a constant layer of ice covering all of Moscow spring has arrived.
Although the Russian spring consists of temperatures around +25 degrees Fahrenheit and a constant river of mud water flowing through the streets from all of the melting snow and ice it is still a relief to know that “warm” weather is on its way. For the first time we are actually able to see the color of grass and that there really are sidewalks in Russia, and they are made of concrete not just ice.
I never thought I would be happy to see 20 degree weather nor would I have imagined that I would be comfortable going outside in only a sweater but surprisingly our bodies have adapted to the cold climate very rapidly. But do not be deceived, this forthcoming of warmth does not mean that we have escaped mother cold for good.
Russia is known for its mid March freezes that turn the rivers of mud water right back into slippery sidewalks of ice. Just last week the temperature in the mid afternoon was
+8 degrees Celsius and that night it feel to –15 degrees Celsius. So winter is not gone by any means and every now and then you can still feel Mr. Frost nipping at your nose. Needless to say we are taking it as it comes and praying that the weather will continue to improve.
Also in this Issue...
- Women's Day ...Celebrate! by Allison Justice
"Women here really take this holiday serious. As properly stated by an English newspaper here in Moscow, The Exile,”forget to give her a flower on Valentines Day she’ll be mad for a month, forget to give her a flower on Women’s Day, she’ll be mad for a year.”
- Special Smell by John Weston
"Last week we visited the Moscow zoo and the circus...The giraffe, warthogs, and tapir were housed in a tiny little building with barely enough room for them to even walk around. Julia warned us going in to expect a “special smell”. The smell was incredible! I had to leave the building for fear that my clothing was picking up the stench. "
- Reflections by Dustin Peffer
"John had the mullet experience firsthand. Instead of going to the barber shop, he recruited some students to give him a haircut. He got a mullet: “Oh yes, we will give you a haircut,” they said, and out came the clippers without any extensions.".
Written by Allison Justice, a Senior at Clemson University
What a holiday the USA is really missing out on!! March 8th of every year Russians, along with most other European countries, celebrate International Women’s Day, IWD. It is a major day of celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. It began as a political event and then it became a celebration for men to show their love and appreciation for women. The first stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917 was set off by the demonstrations of IWD. A Bolshevik feminist, Alexandra Kollontai, convinced Lenin to make this day an official holiday. This stayed a working holiday until 1965 on May 8th by decree of the USSR.
On this day women and men do not work or study. Males buy many things for women of all ages. I would definitely say that the most popular thing to buy is flowers, more specifically, tulips. If you go into the metro or even look out your window, you will see countless bright dots floating around a sea of black.
If you go into a restaurant on every table will be a vase provided for the lucky lady who will dine and want to keep her flowers fresh.
Women here really take this holiday serious. As properly stated by an English newspaper here in Moscow, The Exile,”forget to give her a flower on Valentines Day she’ll be mad for a month, forget to give her a flower on Women’s Day, she’ll be mad for a year.”
Irina and Olga enjoying their flowers
Along with flowers, which must be given in odd numbers, much candy, sweets, cookies, perfumes, etc. are given on this day. Family usually dine together, with the males of the family cooking of course. Around the city there are special deals for women in clubs and concerts that take place.
For my first Women’s Day, Dr. Layfield and the boys of the class provided sweets and tea for the girls of the class to enjoy. The boys also gave the girls flowers and chocolate. It was very nice to have all these things gave just to the girls!
“I am woman here me roar!”