other sights around Tomsk

TV show: The Unit
train to Irkutsk

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A few other sights around Tomsk that I thought were interesting.  The women and child (above) are a common enough sight, the little kids are so bundled up in jackets and mittens that they can barely move.  But move they do – they play in the snow and when they fall down, the remind me of a turtle on its back as they struggle to regain their feet.  I’ve seen a lot of snowball fights with the kids in the local park on the walk from my hotel to my favorite cafe.

I kept seeing these shops all over Russia and Ukraine that read “Lombard.”  Af first I thought it was a chain store but the style of the building and advertisements never were consistent.  So, I asked someone what a Lombard was and it was explained to me that you can take your possessions and using them as collateral take a small loan with a high interest rate.  When the loan comes due, you can pay the loan to reclaim your property, pay for an extension, or lose your goods to the Lombard.  Ah, so it’s a pawn shop…

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Those of you that get cards from me have no idea the lengths at which I have to look and dig to find cards and then, brave the cold mire of the Russian civil servants at the post office.  As you can see in the photo, like the US post office, Russia supplements stamp sales with magazine and card sales.  But, getting the clerk to do any work at all is often a challenge:

Me (in Russian): 10 stamps please

Clerk: What value?

Me: To the USA

Clerk: How much value for card to USA?

Me: I don’t know.

Clerk: I don’t know either.

Me: Can you find out?

Clerk: No (looking past me to the person behind me), “Next!”

But, nothing tortures friends and family better than getting a postcard that says, “Wish you were here,” so I fight through the discomfort…  LOL…

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Here is a pic from inside my favorite cafe where I did most of my blogging in Tomsk.  I asked the staff to pose for a photo and everyone above the age of 40 became very nervous and tried to duck out…

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This little bird was polite enough to let me get close to shoot his photo:

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As soon as the snow starts to accumulate the strollers with wheels are replaced by those with little sled skiis…

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TV show: The Unit
train to Irkutsk

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