Sunday, November 30, 2014

Walking in a Kyrgyz Wonderland (Or Trying to Anyway)

Well, it's been about two weeks for the ATKs in Kyrgyzstan and life has sort of settled into a typical routine. We've moved out of the Hyatt and into our apartment (which oddly has three stoves) and though we haven't received our belongings yet, we've managed to settle in.  It has been nice being able to grocery shop and cook for ourselves (on one of our many stoves).

It also has started to snow. Yep, winter is officially here.

A statue on the first snowy day

When we first arrived it was 50 degrees and sunny. I was pleasantly surprised, because that seemed to be about the temperature we were experiencing in Northern Alabama and about 20 degrees warmer than the weather in Wisconsin.  I had heard so much about the brutal Kyrgyz winters and it was so nice that, of course, I went and wrote about it. I'm fairly sure that jinxed it, because shortly thereafter it rained, and then eventually snowed. Still, the snow fall was pretty and it wasn't anything crazy like what was happening in Buffalo, which I believe was happening at about the same time. There hasn't been any wind, which means there is no drifting and so it is still pretty easy to walk around.  Also, the weather is generally around 30 during the day (not bad at all) and gets into the teens at night.

Unfortunately with the pretty snow comes the glare ice.  They don't seem to salt or plow or shovel so the sidewalks and streets are in, well, less than ideal conditions, shall we say.  The thing is, during the day the ice starts to melt and then at night is refreezes. It gets very slick. See?
Mr. ATK stands on the glistening winter sidewalk outside out apartment
Luckily, Mr. ATK and I brought Yak Trax with us, so we haven't had an issue. Mainly, I'm really impressed by the Kyrgyz people walking on this stuff in regular shoes, and even in heels.  I even saw a guy running the other day.  Amazingly, he did not bite it.

So, basically, that's the report on early winter. I don't anticipate that it will stay this pleasant, but I can enjoy it for now. Oh, the heat in our apartment has kicked in and since we cannot control it--it's radiant heat which the city turns on and off on set dates--it's, like, 90 degrees in our apartment. It's very toasty. We were actually instructed not to use the air conditioner if we get too hot. Instead, we should open a window.  I can't believe someone has actually done that, but they must have, or we wouldn't have been pointedly told not to.

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