Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cold enough to read about Siberia, cold enough for Ded Moroz

It's currently 32 degrees outside and this week's COLD SPELL prompted me to begin reading "TRAVELS IN SIBERIA" by IAN FRAZIER.
I actually purchased the book this past summer, but it seemed sacrilegious to read a book about Siberia in hot weather -- no matter how high we cranked the air conditioning.
Instead, I waited for colder conditions and, well, they have arrived.
I've read about a third of the book. Frazier has already related trips to southern Siberia and the RUSSIAN FAR EAST -- across from Alaska.
Now, I have reached the part of the book where he tells of a cross-Siberian trip he takes with two guides and an unreliable van.
Frazier just wrote about one of the gateways to Siberia, the northern Russian town, VELIKII USTYUG.
Frazier notes the town's well-preserved architecture and suggests its survival could be due to Velikii Ustyug's remoteness -- it was out of sight, out of mind of overzealous Soviet urban planners.
Velikii Ustyug's current fame relies on its claim on the residence of DED MOROZ -- the "Old Man Frost" who serves as the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus.
Ded Moroz traditionally delivers presents to children in person, rather than the more secretive Santa Claus.
His tale is one of many interesting details packed into Frazier's book.
Thanks to our cold weather, I can finally read it.


Post a Comment

<< Home