For the last two weeks, the city of Irkutsk has been preparing for winter. The fountains have all been drained, the cars fixed (well, semi-fixed) and most of the people have begun purchasing their winter garments (myself included). Well, we're finally below the zero mark (that's 0C, not 0F), and we got our first really dusting of snow. I've decided that that little snowfall in early September was just a fluke. While this was no blizzard we had yesterday, the snow did stick around until around noon (when the sun came out for a few hours). I think I like the snow here. When it does get cold enough to "snow" in Texas, it's usually lots of ice and sleet, not the dry fluffy stuff. I didn't see any ice yesterday, except the one little patch outside the door of the dorm, which I slipped on while leaving. It's not supposed to snow again until Thursday (30% of scattered snow showers in the AM, according to the internet), but the temperature is supposed to stay low. :-(
I think what is making it so cold right now is the wind - we've had high wind advisories all week. I'm find when I'm inside - they've finally turned the radiators on and it's nice and toasty (even a little too toasty on sunny days). But that walk to the bus stop is aweful. I need a hat, before my ears fall off.
I did brave the cold last night to go to the movies with some friends of mine. That's right - the movie theatre. I haven't been to one of those since early April. We saw "The Devil Wears Prada" - dubbed into Russian of course. Why is it that movies are just more fun in Russian? At least this one had more than one person doing the voices for the entire movie.
The theatre was actually really nice - plush seats and a good bar. And it was only 70 rubles (about $2.50) - just a hair cheaper than buying a DVD here. :-D That's right, I'm still addicted to the damn DVD shops. And now, I'm been finding a lot of good mp3 CDs too. I need to stay away from there. It's sad that I spend more on entertainment than on food each week. Heck, I spend more on the internet each week than on food. Sigh. The downsides of our modern society.
I also managed to do something completely awesome last night. I went to the market, bought half a kilo of ground beef and a bunch of spices and veggies, and made taco meat from scratch, for a shell-less taco salad. OH MY GOD!!! It was soooooo good. And spicy. I think I may have gone overboard with the red peppers, but it was so good. The chinese neighbors liked it too. I'm so happy - got a little bit of a Mexican food fix. Now if I could just find some refried beans...