Lots of people seem to like Moscow’s snowy winters that last around five months of the year, that is until the white stuff starts melting and the true horror of everything built up in the snow becomes disgustingly visual…
At the end of March the snow in Moscow, which has over time turned a nasty grey-black color on the top because of pollution and “gawd knows what else,” begins to melt and uncover all the unpleasant things in life that have built up over the winter. As snow is scraped and shoveled up in huge piles along the streets, sidewalks and paths, other arbitrary things are also buried in that pile. Five months of cigarette butts start rearing their ugly heads and there are millions of them.
But that’s not the worst. Russians love their pets and take their dogs out for walks regularly the entire winter. The only thing here is they don’t clean up after them after “they’ve done their thing.” It just lays in waiting until the spring thaw. Doggie poo appears everywhere: in playgrounds, parking lots, sidewalks (small kids always wonder what it is and are sure to grab a handful)…you name it. It’s the amount of the excrement that’s simply amazing and scary at the same time. To think of the millions of dogs “dooing” their duty two to three times a day and multiplying that by five months…I’m sure you get the ugly picture.
I have always liked the end of March in the past as I see the snow finally disappearing because I hate snow and cold (I don’t even like winter sports unless I’m sitting in front of the TV watching them). Anything to do with cold is not on my list of things to enjoy.
Every once in a while things are found under the snow besides cigarette butts and doggie doo…they sometimes find corpses, which is probably just as horrendous. Around this time of year, we’ll start reading news of a body found somewhere, not necessarily in Moscow, that has been encased in the snow for several months.
I’ve come to fear the end of March in Moscow over the last few years. I mean, if you see this year in and year out, then you are supposed to get used to it I suppose. Not this American! I don’t believe I’ve seen this gook anywhere else, though I’m sure it exists. Does Toronto, New York, Oslo, or Geneva have this problem? I’ve been to all of these cities with the exception of Oslo, but I’ve never noticed anything even comparable to Moscow’s treasures under the snow.
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Bi-weekly column by Fyodor Lukyanov
Weekly column by Konstantin von Eggert
So read some signs held up a few hundred demonstrators in front of the recently rebuilt Palace of the Grand Dukes in Vilnius braving the snow in a last-ditch effort to persuade Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to agree to an association agreement with the EU.