We saw the buses before the fur. This explains our momentary confusion.
Then we saw the hats. All the thick fur hats – red fur hats, bear-shaped fur hats, a fur hat with fur flowers. Then the fur-lined hoods. Then the fur coats. Then the leopard print fur. Fur around pockets, lining skirts.
Then we heard the language. Ahhh, Russians.
There must have been more than a thousand of them milling around Stadshuset, Stockholm’s beautiful city hall, on New Year’s Day. Burly men in plain hats, women in fur in exaggerated poses on bare trees.
And I thought that not everyone in Russia is doing badly these days. And I remembered just how different Russia is.
And now both my wife and I want to go back there.