Ice Ice Baby: How Not to Slip
So the snow has begun to fall in Moscow and although that may bring pretty landscapes and much frolicking, it also brings treachery… especially at the moment, when the layer of snow is thin and prone to melting and refreezing whilst the temperatures fluctuate about zero. On the one hand I am probably the least qualified person to give advice about surviving this treacherous time, what with being the clumsiest person ever who even falls over without the presence of snow and ice. But on the other, I have also had my fair share of experiences, having spent a late autumn in Canada and a winter in Siberia. Moscow is another kettle of fish in many ways, but nonetheless I’ve already learnt a thing or two in the few days of snow and ice we have had. Decent boots and a warm coat aside, here are my three top tips to help keep you off your bottom!
Russians, and Muscovites in particular, appear to zoom past on the ice as if they were skating, not walking – they slow down for no one. But that doesn’t mean you have to rush about too. Don’t let the speed of Moscow make you feel like your snail’s pace is a problem. If going slowly means you’re less likely to fall, then go slow you should!
Plan your route
I live in a heavily populated residential area, which means that all of the footpaths get trampled of their fresh snow almost immediately, turning them into slushy routes that then freeze over and become icy nightmares. I decided that it would probably be quite hard to find someone willing to drag me from the metro to my house on a sled, so I found a better route home. It is a bit cross-country, but it is away from the icy bits, means walking on fresh snow and, if I should fall, it is much cleaner than falling by the road where the snow and slush are black and grimy.
Don’t be afraid!
This one is certainly easy to say and I am most definitely giving this advice rather than taking it. But don’t be afraid to fall. Okay, so the worst-case scenario is a broken limb (which does sound a tad extreme but I’ve known it to happen!), but if you fall you’re most likely to be suffering from a damp bum and a dirty jacket. What about the handful of embarrassment sprinkled on for good measure? I wouldn’t worry about that. So you slipped over on the slipperiest of surfaces – it is perfectly understandable, and I hardly think your fall will be so exciting as to gather an audience. Someone will help you up and you can brush yourself off: after all, rush about they may, but Muscovites have all been there. And besides, it’s a tough comparison, as Russians have had a lifetime of snowy winters to get accustomed to the challenge: it is in their blood.Ellie, currently learning Russian and slipping over at Liden & Denz Moscow