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Sunday, March 27, 2005

spring.

the new york times gets a big high five for reminding me that it's spring. clocks set forward, stories about minority christians celebrating easter in far off places...at least three stories about people being kept alive by god's good will and respirators. kind of cuts the theme a little, but i guess it's news.

and even the hole is in a state of revival - last night they had their first party in a month. wish you could have been there flash, it was a good one. you'd think after all the noise problems zhenya and sergei wouldn't choose 11 pm for hammering nails into the concrete. shrug. all the pictures are on zhenya's camera, but they'll probably find their way here at some point.

winter here is in its death throes. we've gotten a lot of snow lately, although it's been relatively warm. spring in yaroslavl is a period of involuntary sport, for the young and old. i've spent my time pretty evenly between swimming and skating as the city melts and refreezes. standing long jump comes in a close second. for some reason the city's drainage systems never really seem to work, and so several key points on my route between home and the university are under water. or under that layer of frozen slush that you might be able to walk across, but you'll only find out for sure once you're in the middle. russia's courteous drivers haven't managed to hit me with any mud yet, but it's not like they're not trying.

the best part is just trying to get around on the sidewalks. a lot of them are just roped off altogether because of the huge snow/ice slides off the roofs. so you're either walking through a foot and a half of snow on the side of the road or trying to keep your balance on the sidewalk while listening for falling snow/ice. i never really thought falling snow or ice would be a real problem, but twice in the past two days i've missed being hit by seconds. and these are soccer-ball sized chunks of ice, once they've broken all over the pavement. (also, while we're on the topic(s), consider this my living will or whatever - i don't want to be kept alive on life support. should i be crushed by ice or anything else falling from the sky.)

and on top of that, you need to watch out for assertive and experienced grandmothers, who like it or not, are getting where they're going much faster than you are.