I’m a southern boy. Memphis doesn’t really have a true winter, contrary to what I thought when I lived there. We only stay below freezing maybe one day per year. When Magevney and I got married, in January 2004, it was 70 fahrenheit.
When we arrived in Kazakhstan from Memphis Halloween last year, there was snow on the ground for the first snowfall of the year. All winter last year in Bishkek there was snow on the ground. In June as I drove through a high mountain pass dividing northern and southern Kyrgyzstan. It was snowing. This week in Karakol, our third snowfall of the year!
Now I know that I should be used to this by now. I came prepared for winter: insulated, water-proof snow boots, down filled coat, long underwear, etc. (no decent gloves or hat though) Yet as we have about 25 centimeters (10 inches) of snow on the ground, I’m a little shocked and I don’t really know why. I guess I’m just not ready for the cold and snow. Back home in Memphis, it has been the usual warm weather. Not here.
Last winter, I walked all over Bishkek in the snow and ice. That was a newly acquired skill for me. Evidently I’ve forgotten that skill over the last 8 months. I move about like a toddler learning to walk. Thankfully I did know how to drive on snow and ice and haven’t forgotten that skill. In fact, this year is much easier than ever before. Stateside I drove a 1994 pickup truck with the lightest rear end you’ve ever seen. Of course it was rear wheel drive. I once almost got stuck in the rain because it was so light in the back. Now, I have four-wheel drive and winter tires! (those will be put on soon I think)
I’m hoping I adjust quickly to my new reality here. We can expect snow on the ground through March and maybe even a little beyond. It could be a long winter for this southern boy. I’m always open to some good cold weather advice though.