Now I understand why Russians drink vodka, it’s their way of keeping warm in the terrible cold. And the wife, demanding her husband to buy a fur coat, just wants to survive the harsh winter. Snowdrifts up to her waist and icicles as thick as her hand. What does a Russian winter look like in reality?
1)You probably think that in winter in Russia people go home in three socks, a hat and a sweater, because it must be very cold at home… 10 degrees, maybe. Poor people!
In reality in winter in Russian houses and apartments it is even too warm, for example, I go home in a T-shirt and shorts because the average temperature in my Moscow apartment in winter is 22-23 degrees. We have a habit that shocks everyone – we constantly open the windows in winter to ventilate. I even sleep with the window open. This is due to the fact that in Russia houses often have central heating and it is not expensive. And if you heat your private house with gas, you will pay about $50 a month to keep you warm and comfortable in winter.
2) You fear that it is so cold in winter in Russia that it is dangerous to go outside, because you could freeze on your way to the store.
In fact, the average winter temperature in European Russia ranges from -3 to -10 degrees. It seems pretty cold. But if you put on a down jacket, a hat, a scarf, mittens and insulated shoes – you can safely walk at least 8 hours a day. And if the humidity is low, as it often is in our country, the low temperature feels like warmer and winter is even easier to endure.
3) People from southern regions think that if there is ice outside, you cannot go outside because the ice is slippery, you can slip and fall. You have to wait for the ice to melt … in three months, and then you can go out of the house.
It’s true, the ice is very slippery. And in winter, you can easily get injured. But Russian people are not afraid to walk on the ice, they learn to keep their balance, they choose ribbed soles, and if they fall, they try to dive into a drift of snow, as it is soft there. Be careful when falling in the snow drift, there may be lots of dog poop and pussy.
You have a better chance of encountering treacherous ice if the weather is holding around zero outside. Snow melts during the day, and water freezes at night and turns to ice. If more snow comes, it will cover the ice underneath and you are in for a real adventure. Walk slowly, hold on to the handrail and your friend, and dress in bulky soft clothing.
4) There is a strong association between vodka and Russian people. All Russians drink vodka. And if it’s winter, you’re in for a New Year’s Eve and winter holidays, feasting and drunken parties!
Yes, indeed, there are many Soviet and Russian movies where vodka is almost the main character. And in Russia, of course, there are many people who like to drink vodka with pickles. But today’s young people, the so-called millennials and generation z – they have a healthy lifestyle at the forefront. Among people my age and younger, you’re more likely to find someone who doesn’t drink vodka or has not even tried it at all. (here insert “out of the park russian he who doesn’t drink with translation).
5) Those who have not been to Russia think that it is cold here not only in winter, it is always cold. What could you possibly need a swimsuit for in Russia?
Russia is a very big country and there are regions with different climates, but on average, we have four distinct seasons – summer, fall, winter, and spring. And it’s more or less cold only in winter, and in summer it’s even hotter up to 35 degrees, people sunbathe and swim. Although real Russians bathe all year round, even in winter when the river is covered with a thick layer of ice, cut a hole – an ice-hole – and plunge into the cold water or during religious holidays, or after washing in the bath.
So take your swimsuit with you to Russia!
Conclusion: if you were afraid of getting sick and freezing in a snowdrift in Russia, now you know that there is life here in winter. You can ski, skate, make snowmen, slide down an inflatable tub, go to a bathhouse, and drink… tea and sheep.
Write down which of the four seasons you want to visit Russia and why?