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Odessa In Winter

March 4, 2009

Not quite as cold as Moscow at – 35 degrees, Odessa comes in at a relatively mild -10 degrees………and this is not a constant.  Generally, Odessa fluctuates between -2 and – 8 degrees during late December and early February.

It would be wrong, however, to think that the City is covered in snow for the duration of this time.  There has been little snow over the past few years worthy of note………and none which has caused any disruption to the working day or public services.

The usual advice obviously is given – wrap up warm and don’t eat the yellow snow.  (There are few public toilets in Ukraine and Odessa is no exception).

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Some things are worthy of comment regarding Odessa in the winter:

For those in apartments who have heating supplied directly from the city and do not have the benefit of internal thermostats regularly have to open windows to allow the heat to escape…….I kid you not!!

Odessa women have become extremely adept to walking in high heeled boots in the most treacherous snow and ice conditions to the point where you will never see them fall or slip…..in fact many could or should have become world class ice skaters when seeing the amount of skill and grace they display retaining their balance.  Odessa women will never sacrifice appearance for practicality……….until they reach about 60 years old.

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Due to the lack of street drainage, melting snow and slush are a major hazard to those walking on pavements or crossing roads and are regularly subjected to a tsunami of ice cold water created by the passing Lada, Daweo or if you are particular about who you are drenched by, BMW X5, Mercedes ML or Lexus.

The annual school quarantine due to the flue epidemic creates the feeling you have been dropped into Oz and are surrounded by a well padded and insulated “Lollipop Guild” consisting of thousands of fit and well young children making the most of the annual unofficial holiday……….because one of them had a sniffle!!!

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The bus, packed of course, saves you money by becoming a mobile sauna.

There is more fur being worn than you would find in the collective animal populous of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The Aptika’s (pharmacies) have a never ending supply of flu and common cold cures.

Maintenance of the City electrical grid always begins around late January and can result in no electrical power during the day.  No warning is given and should you be fluent enough in Russian to enquire by telephone when the power will be off in your particular area of Odessa, they best advice you will receive is that it will be off for one day per week for a period of “x” weeks whilst upgrades are done………..which day in the week, even the customer services people cannot say though.

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The City loses none of it’s charm in the winter for those willing to stand outside in minus temperatures and look at it.

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