Discovery leads to the following: I need to exit the bus at the main train station. Wait! What stop is that? No one on this bus speaks English! The alphabet is in Cyrillic, I am fricking illiterate. Oh dear! Will this bus fall off the edge of the earth before it dons on me that I should have got off one stop earlier?
"I speak," states Anya with a British accent. "Auntie and I will help you." A pleasant conversation, with Anya translating occasionally for Auntie, we eventually exit one stop prior to the edge of the earth (the poor suckers who continued)
Auntie is a pensioner and public transit is free for her so she offers me a free subway token (SCORE!!!! -- 25 cents worth)
"You are very lucky to meet nice people like us here in the Kiev," Auntie explains to me via Anya.
They aren't kidding. While I believe the subway to be a crucible for people's inner feelings, the heavy energy most people carry being magnified by the close quarters, frowns abound here more than any place I have been besides Moscow.
|Soviet architectural vomit|
|beautiful old style Eastern European architecture, the funny thing is these two buildings were side by side|
Well Helllloooooo, a pretty girl, let's ask her ...
While technically attractive, as she approaches, I am repelled by the scowl she has etched into her face, her energy for that matter. I literally jump out of the way to let this poisonous snake pass.
Another girl approaches carrying a kitten, "So cutteee!" I exclaim. She cracks a quarter smile. I'm starting to think that counts for Kiev. Standing in the subway system, I feel like a street entertainer performing for smiles in the poorest place on earth.
How do I find my hotel.
Meet Kos, 22 years old, spent a summer in America and a very hard working, determined guy as I will discuss later. He walks with me and points me in the right direction. I climb a hill, my seventy pounds of luggage slowing my ascent to the speed at which people climb the upper peak of Everest.
Huffing and puffing I finally arrive at my hotel, the first I have stayed in over two months.
As I walk up to my room, I think the cab driver might be right. I am crazy. I spent an extra two hours getting to my hotel, complete inefficiency, a poor use of energy, and now I'm tired to boot ... but I don't regret it for a moment.
|at Independence Square, Kiev- Ukraine|