Saturday. Evening. Local weather – “flying chairs”. But just a couple of hours ago (at work) I was thinking about washing the windows… again…for the hundredth time this autumn. But in this weather it’s pointless.
In fact, it’s a sin to complain about the weather: it’s warm, of course rainy, windy, but warm. We have only seen frost a couple of times so far.
The weather is getting warmer not only in New Bedford. Daniel read on the Internet that the melting of permafrost causes explosions of underground accumulations of natural gas on the Yamal Peninsula and other regions in northwest Siberia. As a result, huge craters are formed.
Daniel jokes that Tomichi (Tomsk residents) will soon be able to grow tomatoes in the open ground. And we’re going to get more storms here. And I can forget about clean windows.
I would like to add a gentle reminder about Siberia. As you may already know, the Ural Mountains divide Russia into European and Asian parts. The Asian part includes Siberia and the Far East. Siberia accounts for 77% of Russia’s territory, but only 27% of the country’s population lives in it. Many Siberian cities are located in the southern part of the region.
These sudden gas emissions in permafrost are noted in the northern ice soils of Siberia, but still pose a serious threat to Arctic communities and infrastructure. That’s why scientists have been trying to understand the origin of these eruptions*.
While scientists worry about global warming, Tomsk residents expect a normal temperature for the region. The average monthly air temperature in November in the Tomsk region will be about normal 15-17°F. However, in the middle of the week the temperature at night can drop to 5°F- -4°F, in the northern part of the Tomsk oblast to -22°F.
But it’s winter. It’s Siberia. The snow won’t melt until April, so…
According to the “stopkoronavirus.rf” website, on Sunday (Nov 14) 254 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Tomsk region. Since the beginning of the pandemic and until November 14, 51,600 cases of infection with a new coronavirus infection were detected in the region, 38,979 patients recovered, 611 died.
According to the regional operational center on November 11, the first component of the COVID-19 vaccination in the Tomsk region was delivered to 399,847 people, 341,343 people completed immunization.
But it’s still not enough to reach the collective immunity to coronavirus. Officials say that only about 33% of the Tomsk region population is fully vaccinated.
The United Russia Volunteer Center resumed work in the Tomsk region on Monday. Volunteers will deliver food and medicines to elderly and disabled Tomichi with COVID-19.
The United Russia Volunteer Center has been operating in the region since the spring of 2020. My eldest son volunteered there a couple of times. He drove people who delivered medicines and food to elderly lonely Tomichi.
QR codes are already in Tomsk.
Since November 8, QR codes and certificates of vaccination against COVID-19 (two components) have become necessary for visiting cafes, restaurants, theaters, concert halls, museums and libraries, sports facilities (including swimming pools and fitness clubs), hairdressers, beauty salons, shopping and entertainment centers (shopping malls) and hotels.
Officers of Rospotrebnadzor, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Rosgvardiya conduct raids to check QR codes. Citizens who violante orders will face fines, although I don’t know the exact amount of rubles for violating a new law in Tomsk.
On Monday, Tomsk cinemas announced the start of their work after two weeks of downtime.
In my previous post I talked about two weeks of vacation in Russia and Tomsk due to the epidemiological situation. During these two weeks everything was closed (museums, libraries, gyms etc).
Americans are rightly dissatisfied with price increases and inflation. Russians face this all the time. For example, poultry meat prices in the Tomsk region increased by an average of 13-19% over the year from Sept 2020 to Sep 2021. It’s a large percentage when people don’t get a salary increase.
But Russian officials think differently or don’t think, you choose.
The Ministry of Finance proposed to increase the prices of strong alcohol (vodka, cognac, brandy) by 7.5% (within the limits of inflation). It’s kind of just on time, just before the holidays.
Only the naive will think that Russians will celebrate holidays without alcohol or with less alcohol. No way. Tomichi experienced the Volstead act issued by M. Gorbachev. People didn’t stop drinking. They just found the way around the law: some people made a profit by bringing vodka from other regions and selling it illegally, others made moonshine for themselves and for sale. No taxes paid.
Realizing this, another official institution (The SF Committee) proposed to introduce state regulation of the turnover of moonshine. Really? Who will voluntarily report on themselves? Russians are very handy, they don’t need to go to the store to buy a registered moonshine machine, they can make it at home.
So, we will see…
Talking about strong alcohol reminded me about the book. My American friend asked my opinion about the book “Moscow Petushki”, also known as “Moscow to the end of the line” by Venedick Erofeev . I haven’t read the book in Russia. I can say more: I have never heard the author’s name.
So, I ordered the book through the library and got it. But every time in about 30 minutes of reading I felt sick with a hangover. 🤢
I forced myself to read ⅓ of the book, then I just looked through it. I couldn’t understand the point of the book and just returned it.
Now I’m reading “The Man who Died Twice” by Richard Osman. I love it!
Old age doesn’t look so scary anymore. Life in a retirement village can even be interesting and exciting if you still have some brains and a company of active comrades.
By the way, I recorded a new episode of my talk show. My guest Vladimir and I spoke about my home town Tomsk. English and Russian subtitles are available, along with pictures of Tomsk and a strong Russian accent.
*The report of scientists from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and the Pacific Oceanographic Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is published on the website of the scientific journal Geosciences.