Okay, posts about the weather are boring. Still, there is a point in there. Two points. One, Armenia is weird. You have long, furnace-like summers; mellow pleasant autumns; short but brutal winters; and stormy, rainy springs. There's no close American equivalent to this. There's no part of the United States where you'd have two feet of snow on the ground for weeks at a time, but also have a growing season that allows brandy grapes and good tobacco. It's a Mediterranean climate, but pushed inland and several thousand feet up a mountain side. (And, you know, it's not bad. I don't much love winter, but climates without it seem... a little lacking. So a winter that is serious but short is a decent compromise.) Two, when you live in the former Soviet Union, weather is a little more in your face.
First, there's the house. So far this winter we've had a total freeze with ruptured pipes, a flood caused some days later by one of those pipes belatedly melting, and electrical problems caused by the flood. The heating system (Soviet era boiler, Iranian electrics) randomly shuts itself off every day or two, and someone has to go out to the shed in the yard to switch it back on. The roof leaks in a couple of places, and melting snow trickles in. We're not complaining. We live better than most in this country. I'm just saying that when the weather gets extreme, we sit up and take notice faster than the average urban American. (It's true in the summer, too. The house has no air conditioning, which is mostly no big deal, but for a few weeks in July and August it does get pretty stifling. Fortunately it's dry heat, but still.) Second, there's the infrastructure. The roads are not in great condition and the winter has turned up some truly savage potholes. One of them destroyed a tire on our car last week... Claudia drove into it by mistake and, bam, tire blown. Side roads don't get plowed and they turn into sheets of ice. It makes getting around much slower. You think twice before going out for a quart of milk or something. It's not like we're in a cabin in Siberia or something, but it definitely changes your lifestyle. So the weather is a topic of some interest here. That said, okay, enough weather for a while. What do you want to read about?