Winter in Almaty

Almaty in snow, shot from my balcony

Just a few short weeks ago, autumn arrived; winter has come soon after. This will be a short post, as I have  had a hectic week and my internet connection has not been as stable as previously.

The street on which I live

A number of people have asked what early winter looks like in Almaty, so I am sharing some photos with you. Given the early, heavy snows in New England this year, I do not think the snow here will seem particularly remarkable. It isn’t even terribly cold here yet. Therefore, I have nothing to complain about, and I have even begun to enjoy the snow. The park near which I live really looks like a winter wonderland.

However, I’ve heard that in the north of the country it is already consistently 15 below (Celsius) and that the Siberian winds make it feel colder and harsher still. Two of the other “Fulbrighters” are posted further north – one in Aktobe, the other in Karaganda (originally a gulag or prison colony, now major urban center), and I can’t help but feel sorry for them in the cold and wind.

Interesting, Kazakhs seem to love to talk about weather almost as much as the British. This might just be with foreigners (for lack of anything else safe to talk about, perhaps), but I get asked almost daily weather I’m ready for the cold, how cold it gets in America, whether I know how much colder it gets in the capital, Astana, than here in Almaty, etc. The Fulbrighter in Aktobe, in the northwest, complained to me before she left Almaty for her “post” that the only thing she knew about the city before she went was that it was going to be cold come winter. She has since confirmed with me that this is the case.

More (interesting) posts to come this weekend. Until then, thanks for reading, and I hope everyone is having a good start to the holiday season.

One of Almaty's main drags


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