New Year, fresh start

A few weeks back,  I found myself walking on the frozen Ural River a mile or so upriver towards the centre of Atyrau.  Not sure if I was walking in Europe or Asia so let’s say I had a slippery foot either side.  I went to witness the annual Russian Orthodox baptism ritual.  A rectangular hole cut in the ice, with three dunks in the icy water below representing Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.  There was a basic wooden changing room alongside, providing minimal relief from the razor sharp wind.  The unbelievable ice cold bathing conditions certainly were a case of mind over matter.  As far as I could tell if you didn’t mind, it didn’t matter.

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