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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
roopoo BS: Farewell my snowy Pennine home (27) RE: BS: Farewell my snowy Pennine home 31 Dec 00

My husband's back off to Russia on 3rd January. He's been working out there for about 5 years between Kyrghyzstan (ex-USSR), Rostov-on-Don and Kemerovo (Siberia). He has also had his own accommodation by renting apartments. The Russians are very welcoming, but go easy on the vodka if you can: they make lots of toasts at gatherings, and drink it straight. You will need to be fit for work! There are however some good beers if you look out for them, and Irish bars are popping up all over the place. If you are in a fairly large centre, you may find one. St Petersburg has a couple of good breweries. One makes a "porter" which he says is a dead ringer for Old Peculier! Bacon is virtually all fat 'cos that's how they like it. Skiing is cheap and available if you are in the hills - maybe cross-country if you aren't. Most cities have ice parks in the winter: they carve a recreation area in the ice and snow with slides and sculptures. The one they made in Kemerovo last year had coloured lights inside ice blocks. Most effective.

Be prepared for extreme cold. Get some silk thermals: he swears by them. He got his from a company called Patra, which does mail order, but Lands End do them too, and their delivery is fast. He wears a polartec(best quality fleece to get) 200 jacket zipped into a gore-tex coat. (He says polartec 300 would be too warm, but I wear a coat lined with that here! Depends how much you feel the cold). With layers underneath, this has done him very well. Make sure it covers your bum, tho'. He layers up with thermal vest, T-shirt or shirt, jersey then coat/s. You'll need warm footwear, thermals, warm hats, warm gloves and - vip - a scarf. If you are in an area with very dry cold, you must keep it over your nose and mouth to stop your breath freezing. It will also make it easier on breathing in. You didn't say where exactly you were going, and climate can vary somewhat, but at this time of year it will be cold by any standard compared with the UK. You will probably be able to buy some good fur-lined boots out there at a reasonable price if you have no objection to wearing it. Otherwise, get some thermal lined footwear. He manages quite well with ankle boots.

Of course, I've never been myself, and all this is gleaned from traveller's tales and shopping trips I've made with him.


Most large places in Russia (or anywhere else, really) have ex-pats, and the Irish bars are a good place to try and find the community in your area. You will soon find them, and you can always ask around. Summer will eventually come, and depending where you are, can be quite hot too.

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