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Thursday, 10 July 2014

8 Months In Ukraine: Snapshots of Ukrainian Life, Part 20

8 Months In Ukraine: Snapshots of Ukrainian Life, Part 20:

After lots of phone calls and flight checking, it's official: we've got tickets. Two bittersweet weeks left before packing Kit into his new cat carry-on and getting on a plane. As another blogger put it- "When you move across the ocean, you leave in steps - and each one stings a little."

Now come the goodbyes. All the things that used to be mundane (grocery shopping, going to the park, refilling a metro card) are becoming a series of "the last ....".

For a while I was really bummed out, searching for something that could take Ukraine's place in my heart and finding nothing. Finally I understood that there doesn't need to be a replacement. Sometimes you just find a place that can't be replaced. I know that lots of you who read this blog feel the same way.

So now I'm trying to find things to look forward to, like seatbelts, Thai food, and smiles on the street. Now D gets to relax and it's my turn to call up relatives. This actually brought a huge surprise- thanks to the kindness of my aunt, we'll be able to spend a few days in New York City!! D has his heart set on visiting the Hayden Planetarium where his hero, Neil deGrasse Tyson, is Director. I don't know the city, but hopefully my aunt will be in town too and we'll get to hang out together.

Beyond New York, there will be a long-postponed Visiting of Family on the West Coast. After that, the calender is blank. Itis kind of unnerving, but doesn't life always happen like that? Moments when you just can't see around the bend?

As for Ukraine, here are a few bits and pieces that have stood out recently-
"Crimea, Yalta! 7 nights, 150m from the central beach, 2 meals a day = 1470 uah"
[the equivalent of $125 USD].
This cat found the perfect nap spot at a local market.
My friend and I went to a small store to buy drinks during a picnic. "You again!", the cashier exclaimed upon seeing my friend for the second time that day. "I knew you'd be back for another bottle. Vodka is just like a matryoshka (Russian nesting doll)."

Speaking of cashiers and customer service:

→ "Think faster!" said an airline official to D during a long and detail-filled phone call about traveling with a pet.

→ At the pet store, buying a travel bag for Kit:
                Cashier: How long are you traveling for?
                D: About 10 hours.
                Cashier: Oh, that's a long time on the train.
                D: On a plane, actually.
                Cashier, sadly: Oh. Everyone's leaving Ukraine these days.

New Ukraine? These wet wipes were manufactured in Dnipropetrovsk.
Meanwhile, this toilet paper was made with SECRET TECHNOLOGY. Note the UFO.
"The most dangerous form of violence is poverty. - Mahatma Gandhi"
Ad for the Bezludivski meat factory.
Canned fruit in a friend's cellar.
A rally yesterday at Constitution Plaza.
"Handsome prince seeks beautiful princess."
Masha, the neighborhood's calico cat, stands guard.

Thanks for reading and, wherever you find yourself, I hope there's something to look forward to! : )
'via Blog this'