Nov 09 2007

Skating On New Ice…

Category: Kazakhstan,WeatherChrisM @ 12:27 am

As I previously mentioned, today we had the first proper snowfall of this winter. It has settled on the ground, and in places already formed quite impressive drifts. I remembered to dig out my hat, gloves and winter boots, but forgot my scarf – by the time I noticed, it was already too late to return to our flat and find it, as I would have arrived at the office after my pupil’s lesson was due to start.
Anyway, I strode out into the brisk morning sun shine, and for the first few steps, the walk to work was the same as the last fortnight’s.
Then I found some ice, and almost came a cropper immediately. I instinctively bent my knees and threw my arms out for balance, looking like some deluded surfer or skateboarder, sans equipment. Despite the foolish appearance (I’m glad the entrance to our flat is hidden at the back of the building – less on lookers to look and laugh 😉 ), I managed to maintain my balance, and immediately took on the old granny shuffle that seems to prevent too much sliding and falling over. Once you hit snow again, walking can return to normal, but if you follow the path that others have already created in the snow, you soon find ice once more. This means you need to trudge through the fresher snow, which is slower to traverse, but provides better footing. The next area of interest is the pedestrian crossing. (See the many previous bitching about motorists attitudes to such zebra crossing within older posts in the Kazakh Driving category here.) In non-icy conditions, most cars do at least slow down, or change lanes to lower the probability of a little metal and bone combination occurring, however when the first snow has fallen, and motorists are still driving at summer speeds on the road, stepping out onto that crossing it once again a hair raising experience. Luckily there were no complete idiots around at the time, so I made it across. I made it to the office on time, but unfortunately my pupil was delayed by the icy conditions and resulting slow moving traffic. On the way back home, I resolved that unless I am running late, I will take a few extra minutes with my journey, and cross by the traffic lights instead, where I can at least feel more morally indignated (hmmm, I should probably start to check if words exist, now that I am supposed to be helping others learn English…) should I be run over 😉

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