Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Land of darkness

Arriving in Minsk in late afternoon on Saturday, our plane descended through clouds to land on a dark and foggy runway. We rode home with our favorite taxi driver, chatting all the way. I asked him when was the last time he’d seen the sun. “Today!” he exulted. “For fifteen minutes.” I haven’t been so lucky. The city gets bright enough to shut off the street lamps for a few hours every day, but a thick blanket of fog prevents any real sense of brightness. If the sun ever comes out, I’m planning to run outside, regardless of what else I might be doing at the time. It’s really dark when I get up, and stays so until around 9 am. Then it gets really dark once again by around 4 pm. In between, we don’t need street lights but we have no idea where the sun might be in the dimly-lit space where sky should be apparent.

In spite of the solar darkness, our friends seem to be pretty sunny and we’re having fun getting reconnected. Tomorrow I’ll find out how the bureaucrats are feeling, since we have to go get ourselves registered within five days of arrival. The folks in the registration office aren’t always as cheerful as the rest of the population, so we try to nurture them with extra documents, passport photos, and whatever other gifts we imagine might soothe their troubled bureaucratic hearts.

At least with all this fog we don’t have to run our humidifier. Still, I look forward to seeing the sky.

No comments:

Post a Comment