Would you rather be naked than wear fur?

This from the BBC’s correspondent Adam Mynott in Siberia:

In Siberia, the winter temperature can drop to -60C, making it one of the coldest places to live in the world. In the first of our series on extremes, Adam Mynott finds out how the people of Oymyakon district cope with everyday life under such extraordinary conditions.

It was extremely cold.

Stepping off the plane from Moscow into the brutal, brittle cold of Yakutsk in eastern Siberia, I could hardly believe that humans could survive, let alone thrive in such harsh conditions.

Yet this was a relatively mild start to my 10 days in the region. The temperature was -32C, and I was to encounter much worse.

Yep. He was about to encounter the large difference between the prejudices of white middle class westerners and brutal reality:

Fur hats and long fur coats are everywhere.

A long fur coat can cost more than $1550 (£1000), beyond the purse of many people where the average wage is the equivalent of $600 (£400) a month. You can take out a mortgage on a fur coat – banks will lend to enable people to buy the garment they need.

I arrived with more sets of thermal underwear than I knew what to do with, but what I lacked was a good hat…

I was told by everyone that real fur was the only sensible solution, but I did not want to be responsible for the death of an Arctic Fox or a rabbit and, frankly, the real fur hats were very expensive, so I decided to go for fake fur.

This caused snorts of derision from the government guide who was accompanying me. He looked at me with a mixture of pity and contempt.

“Huh, Greenpeace,” he said.

So when faced with yet another supermodel imploring you with this:

Then just tell it like it is: Try being naked in Lapland, Siberia or Greenland because you’ll get hypothermia inside of a minute and be dead in less than three. And it will take three days to dig your grave in the permafrost.

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