With the warmer weather comes water, of course, before it re-freezes every night. This winter has seen so much more snow than previous winters, and my daughter asked one day what would happen if it all melted at the same time. Astana would go underwater.
Astana is a very flat city, built on a swamp, and whenever it rains (which, luckily, is rarely), roads and parts of sidewalks start to flood. It's just not built for water.
So every spring, the snow melts and the city starts to flood.
Which is why, of course, you see crews working all winter on snow removal. But this year there was so much snow! The children had so much fun playing in it at recess time, but our school did remove a lot of it. At one point the mounds of snow reached to the tops of the tall fences that enclose our campus, and small children tried to climb to the top--quite unsafe, and the snow there was removed immediately. There is still plenty of snow on our playground and in our tiny parking lot, and the principal told me that she's already spent $1000 on snow removal. Wow! Imagine how much it costs to clear an entire city of snow!
I have a car now, which is nice, because instead of trekking through water and mud, I get to drive through it. A co-worker gave me instructions for driving through mud. This year has seen the first time I've ever driven through snow, as well as the first time I've ever driven through a considerable amount of mud.
Luckily, a lot of the mud/water mixture has evaporated or been removed already, but there's still plenty of snow (now icky and brown and slushy) waiting to melt. My hunch is that in another two weeks most will be gone, and the city will be beautiful once again.
This is my least favorite time of year, despite the fact that the weather is nice. I'm not a big fan of the ickiness of ice and slush and mud and water. But it will be gone soon. This part of the year usually only lasts two to four weeks.