>the first stop of your backpacking trip is always going to be the best. because you’re at the beginning of your journey, and you have your whole trip ahead of you. the adventure is just beginning, and you are just bursting with excitement for what life is about to bestow upon you. for all the faces that will smile at you. all the borders and frontiers your shoes will cross, and never cross again. for all the nights handling strange and new currency at the local pubs. the laughter in the hostel dorm at night with people from russia, singapore, montreal, denmark….
kiev is so excited that a Zara shop just opened on their main shopping strip. this isn’t the best city i’ve backpacked through, but it has a quirky place in my affections.
my days here have been loaded with:
-trying to read the cyrillic street signs when our maps use the english alphabet.
-getting lost 3 times as a result
-climbing bell towers and picking up random bits of russian
-memorials to the genocide and famine of ’32-’33
-chernobyl museums, and how the pollution has affected all of the northern hemisphere
-running into senior citizen tour groups full of jovial and hilarious tourists with arthritis
-meeting aussies, kiwis, and brits down at the local pub
-sitting in the grass at holocaust execution sites and eating apples
-watching little wiener dogs run about
-running down steep hills
-walking up steep cobblestoned streets
-ogling the rows and rows and Russian dolls for sale (you know, the ones with little dolls inside)
-meeting fellow canucks and practicing my quebecoise
-hanging out at midnight near Independence Square, where the Orange Revolution occured during Viktor Yushenko’s poisoning.
-having dreams about past and current men in my life
-lying in my bunk and wondering who else rested their head here
-thinking of all the routes that have brought me here
-upset that i stupidly left my mp3 player back in london
-tried to find a vegetarian version of chicken kiev….it’s not possible really
-chuffed that i bought a new one at Heathrow for only 23 quid
-mimed my way through the purchase of a train ticket to bucharest with a woman at the wicket who only spoke ukranian and russian. she was good humoured, i’ll give her that.
-realizing my train to bucharest takes 27 hours … 27 hours … i am going to die.
-thinking of toronto and not missing it
-thinking of one person in toronto, and wondering if he knows i’ve been dreaming about him
-not missing london at all
on to bucharest tomorrow…on the 27 hour train ride… but for now, i’ll enjoy the spirited conversation in my lively kiev hostel, and field all the questions about canada and london as i can…
i pronounce it ‘about,’ not ‘aboot.’
roll on romania!