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Weather and skydiving in Siberia!
5/30/2006 10:43 pm
Weather and skydiving in Siberia!
Hey! This is pretty darn fun. I leave a message and other people actually read what I wrote. Thanks to all those that commented.
Does it get cold in Western Siberia. YOU BET! I experienced minus 40 degree C temperatures this last winter. That is the point where farhenheit and celsius meet in value on the temperature gauge. It is also nearing the point when you should not open your mouth too much, or your teeth just might crack!
Springtime in Russia is a trip! Women practically run around naked! We call it "Fashion TV" when we sit at an outdoor bar and watch the scenery walk by. It turns out I have a mini-skirt, stocking, and high heel fetish. Who knew?!
Russian men are "real men". I met some new male friends this weekend and I could not help but notice that my testosterone level was much lower than theirs. They always had their chests out and their energy level was amazing. We went skydiving for the day. I found the training to be a bit difficult, since I did not KNOW THE LANGUAGE! My friends used their limited English abilities to get me through the whole ordeal, thus I am writing this entry, having survived.
We did solo stabilization 'chute jumps out of the airplane, with only automatic timers to save us if we did not pull the parachute chords ourself. The equipment was old Russian army stuff but I was glad to have a parachute with me, given the way our airplane looked. Everything did not go exactly "to plan", but no one died and the whole experience was a total trip that I will definitely do it again.
After the extreme sports during the day, I was invited to a Russian bar-b-que at a "dascha", or farm house, outside of the city. Like when my uncles used to throw a family bar-b-que back in Texas, there was no food, but enough vodka and wine to make everyone happy. My female date for the day went to the local village store and came back with food (pelmini and cold cuts). I do not quite understand the concept of a Russian bar-b-que. There was a fire to cook some meat, but the meat never made it onto the fire. My date did all the cooking, which was awesome.
No plates were needed, since we just ate out of the bowl when the food arrived. I felt fortuante to be sharing a fork with someone I liked! Russians live by the motto that vodka kills a lot of germs.
With all the food gone, my male buddies and I headed to the "banja", or sauna. I stripped to my boxers and was the last man in. My friends greeted me inside, totally naked. Off went my boxers and we sat in that room until we could not take the heat any longer. Once out of the sauna, I was doused in cool water and then we stood outdoors in the cool night air. We repeated the sauna once more, before I was given the special Russian treatment of being smacked all over my naked body (front and back) with some special tree branches while laying in the sauna. I was doused in cold water again and then left to dry outisde in the night air. I slept very well that night. The 7 shots of vodka and a liter of red wine might have helped, but I'm told the sauna contributed the most.
Next time, I'll tell you how all the Russians think I am here to dump US nuclear waste in their country. NOT TRUE!
7/8/2006 5:52 am
Interesting blog -- sounds like you're having fun over there. Or at least, some really interesting experiences! I haven't read all your stuff but I've done a sampling. |
Chelyabinsk region, huh? The love of my life is from that region. I've only laid eyes on that city at a distance, never visited it. Have spent time in Ekaterinburg, and a couple of other locales around there.
Banja at the dacha --- *now* you have been to Russia!
A couple of variations on the banja. One: the fold a shot of vodka somewhere into each cycle of heat, tree-braches (they birch, of course), and cold water. Another: co-ed! I've done both. The coed banja didn't turn into some sort of orgy, but it *definitely* added an overall spice to the evening!
Yep, you're livin' high in Russia, at least for a few moments at a time.
I read your comments about the women and the men, too. Yes,
the women are real women, the men are real men, no one has the gender-role confusion and uptightness which we Yanks inherited from an unhappy combination of the angry feminist movement and our distant Puritan heritage. These people are rich in soul, honest, generous to guests, loyal to friends, and dangerous to enemies. At the national level, I hope they get out of the funk they're in. I'm not hopeful, though.