The first ice has come. Small puddles along the sidewalk have turned hard and glassy overnight, then become fragile and thin as the sun begins to rise.
In the gray of early morning, the ice on Lenin Street is turned quickly to
shards by the boots of people hurrying off to work. Everywhere there is a constant,
orderly motion: mothers lead bundled-up children across the street, men in military
uniforms stride towards boxy government buildings, young men walk cockily
toward the bus stop, smoking the first cigarette of the day.