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Fur hats, New Year, tea and a bath: how Russian winter surprises foreigners

They prepare for it as seriously as they read guidebooks. The channel's author tells about the impressions of foreigners who survived the Russian winter "My planet" on Yandex.Zen.

Photo: Shutterstock

“Winter is an important part of Russian culture, and you definitely need to feel it,” foreigner Alison Heitmiller writes about her adventures in Russia. What else seems strange, crazy, or requiring close attention to guests of winter Russia?

Fur hats

“Do you think the Russians invented fur hats to make them look funny in Hollywood movies? Have you tried to wait in the cold for a bus that got stuck in famous Moscow traffic jams? Yes, you will give your last dollar for such a fur hat! Needless to say about northern cities, where temperatures can drop below 40 degrees, ”the foreigner writes on the Russia Beyond The Headlines website. The style of Russians in winter is celebrated by everyone: fur and leather hats, the manner of dressing like cabbage, high heels for women, despite the ice and mud.

  • The author of the blog whenwomantravels.com: “A very good investment is a leather hat. It is a beautiful and warm item that you can then wear at home as it will add charm to your winter outfit. "

New Year

All foreigners are amazed at the trepidation with which Russians relate to the New Year and its celebration. The adage “As you celebrate the New Year, so you will spend it”, rich illumination on the streets, magnificently decorated Christmas trees in apartments, the president's speech under the walls of the Kremlin (“Midnight Date with Putin”), festivities - everything is surprising. The feast, of course, also does not go unnoticed: Olivier, tangerines and for some reason borscht invariably cause delight. And even ten days off completely surprise the guests of the capital.

  • The author of the blog whenwomantravels.com: “The jewelry is simply gorgeous (sorry, I can't think of a stronger word), rich and so chic! Sometimes it seems that even too chic. There is too much of everything, and everything is somewhat kitschy, like in a children's candy store: an abundance of elegant packaging, cellophane and multi-colored iridescent foil. "

Ice and salt in the streets

Like Russians, foreigners struggle to adapt and choose the right footwear for walking on the slushy Russian streets. Hiking boots cause perplexing looks in restaurants and cultural institutions, ugg boots are slippery and wet, thawing shoes leave huge brown puddles in the premises, and an anti-ice reagent appears in stains on expensive shoes at the most inopportune moment. Travel advice is contradictory: for example, the authors of Russia Beyond The Headlines assure that all Russians bring shoes for repairs before the start of the winter season “to install anti-slip soles”. Others advise purchasing Yaktrax shoe chains.

  • Photographer Todd Prince: "Walking on ice-covered sidewalks is a separate kind of winter sports in Russia."

On the subject: 6 strangest questions foreigners ask Russians

Darkness

Travelers often complain about pitch darkness and short daylight hours in the country in winter. Only New Year's illumination and rare sunny days save - however, they do not bring significant relief: some users are firmly convinced that the sun melts the snow and that is why it turns into brown slurry, which then solidifies into dangerous ice. It is precisely because of the constant darkness that one of the most popular advice to those traveling to Russia is: "Take a reliable wristwatch with you: it is often difficult to determine the exact time here."

  • Alison Heitmiller: “When I first arrived in St. Petersburg, I was very afraid of how I would return home through the dark streets. But it turned out that on New Year's holidays everything is illuminated with all kinds of illumination! "

Cold and fur coats

Everyone who is going to Russia in winter first of all asks the tourists who have been there for advice: how to cope with the frost? All expats living in Russia do not hesitate to talk about the horrors of the local winter, and above all about the outrageously low thermometer readings. Those who are more experienced immediately spit on style and beauty - they dress either in fur coats (also very impressive) and ugg boots, or in Arctic jackets. Those who have not yet adapted to the low temperatures simply advise not to leave the premises.

  • User nytraveler on the Fodor's travel guide website: “When I was in St. Petersburg, it was so cold and damp that I put on everything that I had in my suitcase. The locals, obviously, also realized that winter had come, and dressed up in thick heavy coats. A friend, who was visiting Russia in December, did not take off her mink coat at all, but at the same time the Russians wore fur coats made of a variety of animals, which she had never seen before. "

Heating in houses

The heat in the premises, taxis and public transport is about as terrifying for foreigners as the cold outside. Added to this is the excitement of gorgeously dressed women in theaters, girls with bare shoulders and huge cleavages in restaurants, and despair at the fact that it is completely impossible to regulate (or completely turn off) the heating in hotel rooms. So those who are too cold are advised to move from museum to museum "to warm up".

  • CNN author Steve Dorsey: “It doesn't matter where the Russians go: to the ballet at the Bolshoi Theater or to the store - they dress up. An evening dress and suit will definitely come in handy. Well ok, maybe not in the store, but in any other situation - yes. <…> If you are going to the evening - take a shift: all women have a changeable Manolo Blahnik with them. "
  • Unnamed expat: "If you want to blend in with the crowd, bring stiletto boots."
  • User nytraveler on the Fodor's travel guide website: “Of course, long thermal underwear is a thing for the Russian winter. But he has one problem: entering the room, you start to steam. And it's impossible to take it off! "

Cold and ooze

Oddly enough, on tourist forums, impressions of the fierce Russian frosts diverge: someone claims that they are quite tolerant, someone is indignant that there is absolutely no snow in Moscow for the New Year, and someone approaches from a scientific point of view and is boring notes that the temperature maximum over the past ten years has grown significantly. However, the majority is still inclined to think that Russia is one continuous ice hell.

  • User r0mbas: “The coldest month is February. At this time, you find yourself in an icy hell. In the rest of the months the temperature rarely exceeds –15 ° C. ”
  • Calvert Journal reporter Jamie Renn: “As Hitler and Napoleon would tell you when going to Moscow: don't forget about the weather. November: A ghoulish chilly rain tears your umbrella into small pieces before gathering in puddles the size of a lake. March: melting, the snow reveals scanty patches of trampled earth and grass with the bodies of homeless people and dog excrement, and then collects in puddles the size of a lake. "

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

Tea and sauna

For some reason, all foreigners are certainly advised to fight the winter cold in Russia with the help of a bath and tea. The bath needs a "correct" one, with an ice hole after. The bath is also recommended as a traditional New Year's fun - of course, because of the famous movie. Tea (with honey and lemon) and warming drinks in general (takeaway coffee at every turn, aromatic mulled wine on a skating rink in the city center) seem to foreigners to be a real salvation. Hot drinks are also recommended: vodka, however, every second advises "sip" or "sip slowly."

  • The unnamed author of The Telegraph: “This is some kind of Dante's purgatory. It seems to me that my bone marrow will melt now. And then my new friend Seva whips me with brooms - to improve blood circulation. "
  • Meg Nesterov: "On sdarovia!"

The original column is published on the blog "My planet "on Yandex.Zen

ForumDaily is not responsible for the content of blogs and may not share the views of the author. If you want to become a column author, send your materials to kolonka@forumdaily.com

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