Monday, December 13, 2010

Winterly life in Kaliningrad at sub-zero 6 degree celcius

This is me with heavy grocery plodding back to the dorm cautiously to avoid falling on the snow or sometimes ice.

I could still manage a beaming smile. But walking in the snow without my fur cap today is gross mistake. I could have easily gotten a cold.

Kaliningrad Technical State University celebrates 80th year anniversary. Little did I know that Mrs Vladimir Putin who was born here also studied here for two years.

Victory Square in snow, no matter how hurried our hearts, our steps must not be in haste. Snow piled up like this everyday, and we are at our own risk.

Business as usual, a shop selling children's clothes and shoes.

In public places, snow piles higher and higher. Business owners however clear their own path dutifully. It reminds me of the Chinese saying: clearing snow of your own home. How apt it is.

Winterly days with pangs of hunger, my young friend Haiying eyeing on bread from famous confectionery chain.

Kiosks like these are common sight on the streets. This is clear that it is selling bread with drawing of a bread with three-coloured flag symbol of Russia.

The famous good and evil bulls statue next to my university. Since 1910, authentically German.

She is from Harbin, much colder than Kaliningrad. She walks around without gloves and winter hat and draws lots of attention.

City view of Kaliningrad. Warning those who come here soon, prepare a good pair of shoes.

My view from the dormitory. Former KGB is nearby.
Russians celebrate Year of Rabbit like their own. Everywhere you see rabbit figurines! I no longer know if I am in China or Russia.

While I look forward to winter days and beautiful snowy scenery, little did I know it hits me quite badly. I feel fatigue easily today and this surprises me. I had a strong cup of tea in the morning, but I could doze off in minutes a couple of times in the afternoon! This is strictly not me. As it is known, the lack of sunlight will tire one easily, and now I have to accept that. I had too much in Singapore, I could try to achieve more with my growing fatigue.

At -6 degree celsius and with sufficient warm clothings, it was comfortably cold. I recalled when I was in Saint Petersburg at - 20, it was a big difference. I even felt a shortage of breath if I walk for too long. At this present temperature, it is rather alright.

As roads and pathways are piling with more snow and hardly being cleared away, walking from one place to another is quite a chore. This surprises my Chinese friends too. They said that snows are cleared to allow people to walk, unlike here. I could not draw comparison, but I do know that life during winter is at your own risk in Russia. I had a bad fall last year. I hope I will keep myself steady this year.

I decided to get one week's grocery and minimize the need to do multiple trips. I was surprised to see outdoor vendors who are still making a living on the streets, and a rare couple of beggars too. Snow gathered on their lashes and caps, but they stood still all the while, if not for sympathetic customers and good-hearted souls who are willing to part with their money. I wish I could picture them, but I did not have the heart to do that. Being out in the cold, and having a purpose demands some privacy and respect.

Tomorrow I still need to carry two bottles of mineral water from the nearest but not cheapest shop. Wish me luck!!


  1. wow! looks cold!

  2. Compared to Siberian winter, it is nothing I was told. Next week its going to be -20 again.