Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 11 18 - Zima

ZIMA is the Russian Word for Winter - This is easy for me to remember because back in the early 1990s there was a huge marketing blitz by Miller Brewing for an alcoholic beverage named Zima and it sucked - sucks is also an apt description for the Russian Winter.

On Thursdays Billie Jo works and I typically have class later in the afternoon.  This particular Thursday, She called me from work and told me to "dress warm it's starting to get cold outside".


uhm.....I have been wearing a Parka for a month and NOW it is getting cold.

oh and if you check the calendar - ZIMA actually doesn't start for another month!!!

5 Stages of Cold

I think I can break Moscow's Urban Winter into 5 Stages

Open Parka - I wear my jacket but it is not really that necessary - but since I am traveling it is the only coat I own and much easier then transferring all my necessary items(sunglasses - used Ticket Stub) from one jacket to another.  On open parka days it is nice enough I stroll rather than briskly walk from the apartment to the metro.  I may even take a few minutes to walk around the park on Ukraine Blvd and take a few snapshots or perhaps admire the young ladies in their fine fall outfits.

Park on Ukraine Boulevard

Hat - These days are slightly colder - and I really don't stroll on Hat days - I walk at a pleasant pace.  But I don't need gloves and it is fairly easy to carry my book bag  I don't have to remove my gloves when I need to rummage through my pockets for my Metro card - which I forgot I needed because I was distracted by some fair young lady exiting the metro.

Hat N Glove Days - Things are getting more serious now - Any Walking outdoors is all business - there is no strolling to be done - Fair Maiden do still get a quick head turn.

Scarf Days - I don't know of scarf days - Never liked them and don't wear them.  Many a Fair Maiden have assured me they are wonderful.

Today is a Knit Cap Day - For the first time this year I have broken out the Knit Cap.  I prefer the Baseball Cap.  I am used to the baseball cap it is utilitarian - keeps rain off my head, keeps me warm, folds up into my pocket easily and went for something like $5 at a Phillies Closeout Sale.  Note: Many a Fair Maiden look  good in Phillies Caps as well

The Knit Cap is dual purpose - 1) it will be much warmer then the well traveled Phillies cap.  2) It will help me to blend in to the swell of Russians in the city.  For the most part I actually pass for Russian (by sight) - There is a historically large Asian community here as the Mongol Empire stretched to Moscow and beyond during the latter part of the 13th century. About once a week somebody asks me for directions - I usually either shrug or point to my right.

Unfortunately There are many more stages of the Moscow Winter.  but as of 11/18 These are the only ones that I know about.

I am doing all this travel talk because it is a school day and that always involves the metro more me.  Today I had class with Vladimir who always breaks on the hour for a cigarette - today when he went out he raised a cigarette and said "I go Kill the Stick"  I am not sure I have heard this in English before but I like it - Almost makes me wish I was a smoker just so I could use the expression.

First off - on the escalator in front of me some guy was wearing a baseball cap with the "Quilted Northern" toilet paper logo on the back.  I cannot make this stuff up.  If QN or any other TP company ever sponsors hat day for the Phils please remind me not to attend.

Even more distressing on the way back from school I saw some weasel wearing a Michigan Letterman Style Jacket at the Bus Stop - Score 1 for the Wolverines I guess.

New York Yankees 5
Boston Celtics 1
Elliot Sadler 1
Atlanta Braves 1 
Chicago Bulls 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 1
U of Michigan 1 
Solchi 2014 1

Post Script
I am not positive, but I think they still sell Zima in Russia.

For Further Reading

If you would like to learn more about Zima Click Here - Yes it is worth your time.

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