Winter– it’s no joke

Winter in Russia is tough.  Just ask Napoleon.  Or Hitler.  But somehow I hadn’t internalized this fact.  I’ve been to Russia a bunch of times in the winter so I thought it would be no big deal, but this is the first time I have spent the entire winter there.  At first I was just mesmerized by the snow– we never get snow in Arizona– and the gorgeousness.

I threw myself into winter sports.

I celebrated all the holidays.  First was New Years:

Then Christmas (January 7th on the Orthodox calendar):

Then Old New Years (January 14):

And then….it was dark.  It was cold.  Classes were out at the university, and there weren’t any good movies in the theaters.  So I started to get depressed.  As it began to warm up, I thought my mood would get better, but warmth, unfortunately, made things very ugly:

It doesn’t look so bad in these photos because at least the sun was shining.  But that’s because I could only bear to take photographs when there was at least a little beauty.  The end of January and all of February were rough.  My mood was incredibly low, I didn’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything.

Why am I telling you all this?  So you will understand why I did what I did next.

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