Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Bigger They Are . . .

I keep forgetting to take my camera with me when I go out so I can document for you the state of the entrance to our building. Today, I finally remembered.

On the Plaintiff's Steps, the individual steps are obscured by the ice that wraps itself over the edges. One false move, and you will slide off and land in The Lake of Doom.

Today is much better: the Lake of Doom has shrunk a bit, and you can see that the building maintenance crew has sprinkled some grit on the steps.

Yesterday, I encountered an old lady with a shopping schlepper standing, helplessly, on the far side of the Lake. The only way to continue on what I loosely call "the sidewalk," was by walking on the lowest step: the Lake covered the entire sidewalk. I saw her there, dithering about how to navigate the journey. Abandoning my own groceries and any attempt to speak Russian, I just started saying, "WAIT! WAIT! I will help you!" I took her by the arm and led her across.

If I understood her properly, she said, "WHAT a winter!" And, given her age, I'll bet she's seen a few.

Skittles fell down on the way to school yesterday. Baboo has Wednesdays off, so it was just Skittles and The Spouse. They had barely reached the corner, when Skittles went down in spite of the fact The Spouse was holding her hand.

As she got back up, muttering, "Well, THAT was fun," The Spouse went down. Feet-over-his-head-cartoon-style down.

It was to be his first fall of the day.

The second came last night as he walked home from the local expat hangout/bar. He was talking to me on the phone about who he had met there when suddenly I heard a crash and a curse.

It is a very helpless feeling to shout, "ARE YOU OKAY!" into a phone when you can only imagine your words, spilling out on the other end into the dark Moscow night.

Thankfully, only his pride was wounded.

I cannot begin to imagine navigating Moscow's winter streets while on crutches.


Jen said...

Going about your business sounds incredibly dangerous over there.
I guess it explains the vodka.
Na zdorovye!

Tina in CT said...

Do they have the same ice melt products that we have here? They sure do work well.

Your steps are horrible.

I just can't imagine how handicapped people get around. I know that my daughter told me that handicap accessiblity there is not what it is here in the US. The handicapped people need to unite to change laws there.

I'm sure the elderly lady appreciated your help today.

Good that your husband and daughter were not injured in their falls on the ice.

TRex said...

While I haven’t fallen in Moscow ever Mrs. T went down not three hours ago at our rental property in Tukums, Latvia. She landed mostly on her arse so she’s ok although her elbow took a small knock.

You see plenty of ppl in Moscow with self administered splints and bandages from falls, wrists mostly. Not everyone can go to a doctor and spreading sand is almost unheard of.

And how the folks skate around on the men’s elf shoes and the women’s heels has always struck me as incredibly daring.

Luna said...

Okay. Just spewed my wine! Why is it when other people fall, we think it's so hilarious?

Hope Skittles and The Spouse are okay. Get them cleats!

All the snow is melted here, and the streets are dry! No mud. No grossness. Yippeee!!

Tami said...

And to think Russian women are so worried about making a fashion statement that they'll wear stilleto boots on that stuff.
Hey! Wait a minute! Maybe the stilletos are really just spikes that dig into the THAT's an idea. ;)

The Expatresse said...

Tami: That's what the Russian women all tell me.

Tina in CT said...

You need to invest in ice grips that are attached to stretchy rubber that you stretch over the bottoms of your boots (flat boots that is). I have some and they are great. Make sure you remove them before walking inside on tile as you'll go flying if you don't.

The Expatresse said...

Jen: This is why I take the metro to the kids' school even though it isn't faster. It's less treacherous.

Tina in CT: Yak Traks. I've seen things like this on the internet and am told I can find them here. Must step up efforts to do that (although I am loathe to venture out for anything other than groceries and booze . . .).

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