If You Walk in the Woods

If You Walk in the Woods

Akademgorodok (something like “University City”) was founded in the 1950s and 1960s as the seat of Novosibirsk State University and a number of scientific institutes. Its planners strove to make it a nice place for scientists and scholars to live and work. It was and...
Tick Talk

Tick Talk

It is amazing the extreme climatic conditions some of God’s creatures can endure. Anything that can live through the harsh Siberian winter has to be hardy. And mean. You wouldn’t believe the mosquitos here. They’re small but quick. In the still of the night they’re as...
A Paschal Feast for the Eyes

A Paschal Feast for the Eyes

Easter isn’t just a Sunday: it’s a whole season of the church year. The Feast of the Resurrection continues for 50 days. In Russia, an important feast-food is eggs. I’m a sucker for eggs. No, that doesn’t sound right. Let me rephrase: I really have a weakness for...
Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

While this blog doesn’t aspire to be a clearing house for Russian news items, I couldn’t pass this one up. It further illustrates the great irony and contradictoriness of life in present-day Russia. Several weeks ago in Moscow, some members of a female punk-rock...
Spring Snowstorm

Spring Snowstorm

  Novosibirsk is in the throes of a typical March snowstorm. It’s really coming down. For days now the ice has been covered with a new layer of snow–very treacherous for walking and driving. None of this will last long, with the high temperatures hovering a few...
Siberian Spring

Siberian Spring

Ah, spring! The time of love, the singing of birds, flowers, greening grass, budding trees … No, wait, wrong place! Here spring is the time of melting snow, ice, more melting, more snow, more ice. Oh, yes, and the time for youth to lose their heads in love, if they...
The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key

Living in my Russian apartment is a little bit like living in a prison. If you’ve ever been inside a penitentiary, you have gone from one area to another with yet another door unlocked before you and have heard the clang of the door and rattle of keys behind you. When...
From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love

Yes, I know, this James Bond title is wildly overused, but it’s so appropriate for this post … When we came to Russia in 1998, Valentine’s Day was beginning to be known, but was celebrated only by a few, and only peripherally. For Russians the big day of love...
My Foot Stands on a Level Place

My Foot Stands on a Level Place

Anyone at all familiar with the Book of Psalms can’t miss its frequent mention of feet and paths, standing and slipping. “None of his steps shall slide.” “Wilt thou not deliver my feet from falling?” “When my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.” Living...