Did you know I’ve been to Ukraine? I went 2 years ago, in ’11, to help bring back Katya. I think we left on the 14th, and arrived on the 15th? I can’t remember.
One of the highlights of the Big Puddle Hop, was hanging out by the bathroom window as we flew over the edge of Ireland and admiring the moonlit view with an Indian lady, while nursing a nosebleed. Oh, the little things in life!
Some hours later, I stumbled off the plane, wincing at the heat (I thought Ukraine was supposed to be cold?!?) blinking my gritty eyes and trying not to panic. It was just too, too weird. No sooner were we through customs, then Mum ordered me to “Follow that man!” at all costs, so I go trotting after the indicated guy who’s wearing sunglasses and a pink shirt, and whom I don’t know from Adam. But I follow him, because he’s got one of our suitcases. It turns out he’s the driver to take us to our apartment, but by this time I’m almost too tired to care.
There are a lot of slummy apartment buildings on the way into Kiev. Bristling with satellite dishes, draped with wash, and glittering with reflective sunshades, that people had stuffed into their windows. It was most depressing. The view from my every-day corner of earth simply does not contain slums of such magnitude. And I’m sure that there were worse slums that we didn’t see. There would have to be, in a city that has old ladies and children begging on the streets.
And then, we turn into an entirely different part of town.
Two more turns, and we were at our apartment.
After getting everything explained to us by the land-lady (who was tops!), we went and had some–supper? It might have been lunch. I don’t really know. I was so fatigued with jet-lag that the world seemed to sway. Of course, the one doing the swaying was me, staggering with exhaustion and hunger. We went down under Independence Sq, and found a shop that smelled of potatoes, and had borsctch and Chicken-Kieve, fast-food style, which I thought was like hush-puppy and chicken combined. With a weird pocked of oil/broth? I didn’t know at the time it was Chicken-Kieve. But it was good. Than we stumble back to our apartment, drew the curtains, and got some sleep.
From past experience, I knew that sharing a saggy bed with mother is not a good idea. She’s so much heavier than myself, that I would end up rolled against her the whole night, and it’s not fun for anyone. So I opted to sleep on the couch. Well, I *tried* to sleep on the couch. I had never experienced jet-lag before, and felt hot and bothered, and quite panicky, because I thought the air-conditioner was going to fall off the wall because it creaked and popped and rattled all night. I shake my head now, but it wasn’t funny then. Hopefully, next time I would cope better. But I was younger then. So, so much younger.
Check back in a day or so for pt. 2!