Bolot Boucharev lives in Yakutsk with his wife and two sons, aged 3 and 5. Recent entries to his blog Ask Yakutia
describe the arrival of the polar winter in the city.
A temperature of -47°C is a normal for a December day. People here are completely used to this kind of cold. The first thing we do when we get up in the morning is look at the colour of the sky. If it’s blue, we know the cold will be bearable. If all you can see is fog behind the window pane, we know it will be a tough day.
It’s hardest for the children, who have to spend all day inside, either at home or at school. I try to bring my two sons to the park at least once a day. Since it’s extremely cold, we go in a taxi, so that the little time they spend outside, they spend playing. I don’t want them to get sick, so my rule is that we never stay outdoors more than 30 minutes per day.
The best clothes for this kind of weather are fur and wool. The trick is to wear as many layers of possible, even several layers of underwear. Also, you have make sure your time outside is spent quickly and efficiently. For example, you need to know exact bus schedules so as not to spend time waiting at the bus stop. But the cold and snow doesn’t stop the city from functioning. Shops are open, public transport works. The city starts preparing for winter in the month of June. All of the sewage and pipeline networks are check and repaired at the slightest hint of a leak. People here start saying “it’s cold” when the temperature goes below 50°C. In those cases, it’s best not to spend more than 10 minutes outside.”
All photos posted by Bolot on his blog.