On Monday night, I went with some foreign teachers to the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. Night is the time to go because the buildings are lit up in vibrant combinations of colors. The sheer size of these icy constructions is awe-inspiring, and only rivaled by the absolutely frigid temperatures. Within half an hour, my toes were so numb that I caved in and visited a refreshment tent to verify my lower digits would still function.

It should have been called the rape tent, because that's what happened there. To justify my seat, I was compelled into purchasing a warm beverage: a small cup of instant coffee for 20 RMB (elsewhere, this would buy a decent dinner for two). My sphincter still quivers at the memory.

I was able to check that my toes were still attached, though, and after doing so, I took off my gloves to pull them over my socks and the proceeded to forcefully stuff it all back into my now-quite-cramped boots. It worked, and I was still able to keep my hands warm by drawing them deep into my coat sleeves.

While I did take some pictures, these ones are bound to be hundreds of times better and require significantly less work on my part as well. Please have a look at what's in my cold, cold backyard here:


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