Sunday, October 3, 2010

Девушка, как вы не холодны?? : Lady, how are you not cold??

Tomsk State University

In Siberia, I am convinced that women either run extra warm-blooded or refuse to show pain.  James and I visited the university in Tomsk and were amazed at how much skin we saw.  Maybe the Soviet scientists invented a revolutionary heat-retaining synthetic fabric and refused to share its secrets with the West.

According to other locals I met, this phenomenon of pantless-Russian women continues all year, even during the Siberian winter.  Here I am, in nylons, jeans, two shirts, a fur hat and leather gloves - still feeling cold.  Earlier, a woman in a mini shirt and stillettos walked by me eating an ice cream bar.  I really wanted to ask her, "Девушка, как вы не холодны??" : "Lady, how are you not cold??"  

Woman in mini shorts on her way to class
After my summer in St. Petersburg, I was determined to dress up and wear heels to class every day.  Looking back, this new devotion to Russification and the Berkeley hills probably are to blame for my partially torn Achilles heel.  

How the women of Russia survive the frigid temperature in heels in mini-skirts will continue to baffle the Western world for years to come.

The World War II memorial was a somber change of pace.  129,000 Russian soldiers went to the front, and only 57,000 returned one memorial reflected.  So many friends and family members were lost.  I stepped back for a moment and reflected on how incredibly lucky I am to have never had to personally be affected by something as grisly as losing my father or love during a war.  If you are lucky enough to have family or a loved one close by, please hug them and tell them you love them.  I will be sure to do the same when I arrive in Austin.

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