Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Russian vs. American drinking and snowing habbits



Reading all the updates about people stuck in NYC because of the snow storm, gave me two thoughts:

1. I am going to start a series called “what if things were private”, in which I will give links to all the problems caused by various services and aspects of social life being “public”, i.e., run by the government (federal, state or local), and compare to what might be if these services were private (if somewhere else they are private, I will try to compare to that too).

2. The way snow descends on America (at least in my experience — i.e., this is probably limited to the East Coast, and, say, in Colorado, things are different) comparing to Russia is similar to the way Americans consume alcohol comparing to Russians.

In Russia, it snows regularly. Sometimes it snows quite heavily, but for the most part, there is a normal and regular output of snow. (The problems in Sheremetyevo Airport are actually due to “frozen rain”, not snow — but that has more to do with the first point above.) Likewise, Russians drink alcohol regularly. Some Russians, again, drink quite heavily, all the time, but most Russians drink in low to moderate amounts on a regular (daily, semi-daily, etc.) basis.

On the other hand, in America (at least, the upper East Coast), it doesn’t snow very regularly. (Which can be annoying to someone like me, who expects it to snow in winter.) But, when it does snow, it snows in an inordinate amounts — more than on average in Russia. In other words, while in Russia there is a regular low-to-moderate-to-slightly-high output of snow, America fluctuates between the periods of no snow and heavy snow storms.

Likewise, Americans don’t drink on a regular basis. What they do is go out on Friday night and get heavily drunk. Etc.

Basically, northeastern American snowing habits ruin the enjoyment that one may derive from snow. It’s nice and beautiful when it is snowing. It’s boring when it’s just cold outside (it seems like an extra-ugly version of late fall: with no beautiful leafs but with low temperature). But, nobody likes to get stuck for a day in his car in snow (like the guy whom Arbat referenced here — just click on the links by the end of the post to look at the pictures — from the looks of it, he still hasn’t reached home after having left it on Dec. 26) or even dig out one’s driveway for a few hours.

Same way, one wants to enjoy the positive benefits of alcohol without the negative ones.

(There are no lessons to draw from the second point. And yes, I am aware of all the caveats someone may point out.)



[images from etotam and e-kudinovich — click for more pictures]

P.S. One of the comments says: “Such is the nature of global warming. Very tricky it is.” (And to those who say that the global warming shows its ugly face only in summer: we’ve had a beautiful summer, with maybe two weeks of very hot weather.)

4 comments:

lifeonacottonball.blogspot.com said...

I happen to think the contrary. snow is a pain, but if we're gonna get it, bring it on all the way!!

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Do you own a car?

lifeonacottonball.blogspot.com said...

yes, but nonetheless it just makes it so much more happening!

le7 said...

Agreed. I find winter depressing without snow.

You would like Wisconsin. They had regular snowstorms since the end of November this year and funny enough - no snow days! The government can handle it. The plows are out when there is a snowstorm from 3 in the morning. You wake up 30 minutes earlier to shovel your car out and that's it. Life is normal. School and work are not cancelled.

Plus Wisconsinites are regular drinkers.