When You’re Right, You’re Right

When You’re Right, You’re Right

In post-Soviet Russia, domestic car brands such as Moskvich and Jiguli have largely given way to imports. There are Ford and Chevrolet factories in Russia now, and these are supposed to have very strong sales. I don’t see all that many Fords and Chevys in Siberia,...
Told You It Gets Cold Here!

Told You It Gets Cold Here!

It’s mid-December, and so there should be no surprise that the temperatures in Siberia are in the double digits below 0. The display here is in degrees Celsius. Most of these temperatures aren’t quite as fierce as they appear, since “0” on this scale is actually +32...
The First Days of Winter

The First Days of Winter

Winter usually comes to Novosibirsk toward the end of October, and this year is no exception. The first snow fell on October 24. These photos look a lot like those I posted of the last snow just six months ago. Before this snow had a chance to disappear (it...
Siberian Fall

Siberian Fall

The Russian poet Alexandr Pushkin wrote a lot about autumn. In his novel in verse Eugene Onegin he beautifully sums up the nature of the season in Russia: Golden fall has come; Nature, trembling, pale, Is luxuriantly decked out like a sacrifice. This is certainly an...
Some Non-Cross-Cultural Humor

Some Non-Cross-Cultural Humor

Summer’s over, and so it’s time for me to get back to blog-posting. Let’s ease into it gently, shall we? Instead of discussing some ultra-serious topic, I’ve chosen humor. That has to be easy and fun, right? Well, not always so easy. When I first came to Russia, I...
That Hard American Way of Life

That Hard American Way of Life

Strange as it may seem, people who live overseas often have less trouble adapting to the new culture than they have readjusting to the old. At least that’s the case with me. Here are a few of the more difficult transitions I have to make every time I return to the...
Don’t Drink the Water!

Don’t Drink the Water!

People who travel to other countries often hear warnings about the local water. It’s one thing for tourists to buy bottled water to use for a few days or weeks, then go back to their carefree habits at home. But what do the permanent residents do? Russia, including...
Which Bus Is This?

Which Bus Is This?

Just when I thought it couldn’t possibly happen again, the other day I heard yet another person, a minute or so after boarding, ask, “Which bus is this?” I’ve heard this now too many times to count. Each time I, a highly organized and efficient American who plans...