Soft Cold, Medium Cold, Hard Cold and Just Plain Cold: in Russia…

imagesWhen I grew up in America and played in the snow, skated on the frozen ponds and sledded the hills. I never contemplated more than one type of cold. When it was Winter it was just cold and that was that. This is what is going through my mind as I sip a cup of coffee this morning and I have learned that there is a difference to the cold…

In Russia I have discovered that Russians look at Winter and coldness as it means the difference as to the coat you wear. You have a coat for the soft cold (0c to around -5c), a coat for medium cold (around -5c to -20c), a coat for hard cold (-20c to -30c) and then you have a coat that is for the times when it is just plain cold (-30c to -?). Now Russians also have many coats for above freezing temperatures also…

My best coat as I write this is good to -35c and the coat that I brought from America, that was my Winter coat years ago, does not hold a candle for warmth compared to this coat. Russians look at cold a whole different way than many in the US do, but the exception would be the very far Northern Americans…

So every morning Sveta checks the temperature and picks the coat to fit that temperature. It makes sense and today I am writing this because I picked the wrong coat as I went out today and found myself freezing to death. It is plain cold outside and it is just medium cold, but I got use to a few days of soft cold and did not look to see what the weather was like… 🙂

Life in Russia demands good coats, good hats and mittens…

There really is a big difference in colds! When I first got here I was not able to tell the difference, but now after years of living here, I can discern the subtleties…

A soft cold is nice and I jokingly call it the Russian Bahama weather. Sveta likes that and uses it also. Medium cold is one that will get you if you are unaware. Medium cold is like your old freezer. Freezes everything hard as a rock, except real ice cream and that takes hard cold to do that. Hard cold will freeze that ice cream to a good stage and the same will happen to your exposed head as you foolishly travel around with no hat on. Now just plain cold is a point that ice cream is so hard that it takes a band-saw to cut it and most cars decide to take a permanent siesta from life, or at least until the weather gets warmer. Just plain cold is when even the outside chess players in Russia decide to play in hand mittens, or suffer frost bite…

Just plain cold is fur coats, fur hats and you let the fur grow on all your body parts and no one cares…

So today I went out and after a hundred meters, I realized that I definitely made the wrong choice of coat, but it was too late to turn around and I turned up the collar and pulled down the stocking hat. I even used only gloves and should have had mittens…

I just love Russia… 🙂

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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