Cold rain battered down in intermittent frigid cycles all of yesterday. This morning the white powder of snow has been layering the ground as it falls from a grey and windy sky. Everybody is talking about the weather as it continues to become more difficult with week after week of dismal conditions. My laughing line that I have shared with friends, family and even cashiers at my favorite food co-op is “well, I am starting to understand why they drink all the time in Russia.”
Laugh as I may when sharing my observation, I have been thinking back upon my time in Vladivostok.
Vladivostok is a sea city. It’s a big city with about 5 million people getting through life in the commotion of it’s city boarders. The city is next to the sea. Because of the proximity to fresh water, many fish are sold at markets, or even on street corners heaped upon a pallet.
One dear sight to me was on Saturdays when a man would come to the orphanage with a black gym bag packed with presumably fresh fish to sell to the nurses on duty.
The city of Vladivostok is many things other than just a sea city: It’s cosmopolitan in part, and impoverished in part, and it’s also very sad.
The parks in Vlad confirm this. I do believe that I took these pictures on a random weekday afternoon. Drinking in the parks during daylight hours is common as it is even on a bus or sidewalk or in a grocery store.
Sunlight is strained and smiles are seldom, but there are still so many beautiful faces.
Sunny skies and the beginning of fresh growth can’t solve all problems.
However, it’s one heck of a good jump-start into positivity and production. I wish to the moon for sunlight and the freshness of spring brightness in both Russia and here, in the Midwestern states.