Last night it was around -30º C. That translates to around -8º F. That's pretty cold.
My wife and I went out for a walk last night. Bad idea. It was impossible to go more than a few feet without pain in the lungs and a frozen nose and cheeks--literally frozen. We ended up going to the little store about forty paces from the front door to get something so that we could say our trip out was not in vain. Cold, cold, cold.
It still is today though maybe slightly warmer, slightly. We walked out in it to go to the store. Not many people were out on the sidewalks or near the bus stops. But there were a lot of people in the store. It might have been that it was Saturday, although it hasn't been that full on Saturdays before-- or it might have been the fact that the open air market near here was closed. (People shop for food in these.) Or maybe people were just stocking up thinking we all might have to hunker down against the cold. Whichever it was, we ended up waiting about forty minutes in the check-out line.
The rumor is that the open air markets here are all closed to keep workers from sitting out there in the cold and freezing to death. The one near our house is closed we know. And some businesses are closed to prevent people from traveling in the cold to get to work.
The local junior high equivalent had only about 200 of the 500 students there on Friday. The kids ended up not doing much work at all. If we had known that, they would have stayed home. But our kids dutifully went to school.
What this will do to the gas situation is anybody's guess. All of this though ought to stimulate some kind of movement to have an energy policy here. That probably won't happen before the election and, if the polls are right and Yanuk gets in, it probably won't happen after the elections either. And there are some serious obstacles to any policy that would require conservation anyway. Any number of commentators have talked about spending the winter in Kiev with their windows open to cool down their super-heated apartment. Too true, too true. But it is not enough to tell people to turn down the heat. It can't be turned down in individual apartments in these older buildings. It all comes from a central station.
But this is for another post. We will keep wrapped up, LEvko--thank you-- when we go out. Our little square piece of air is warm enough these days. The hot water is flowing nicely through the radiators. So we are fine.
We won't though be going out for a stroll any time soon.