05 May 2009

ODE TO KYIV

I love that I don't feel grey and overcast today. I love this crazy city. I love Ivan the bookseller on Maidan. Ivan who spent 20 years in the Gulag in Siberia. Saved only by his will to live fueled by a pocket sized Symonenko that he somehow managed to hold onto all those years. I buy my first Symonenko from him. I love that. I love the two repair workers fixing huge marble tiles, on one of those barriers on Maidan, armed with a screwdriver, a bucket and a look of utter confusion. I love their worn orange vests and the fact that they are working on a Sunday. I love the abundance of purple in the Spring Kyivan female wardrobe. I don't exactly know why but I love that Star Trek is premiering in Kyiv at the same time as the world wide premiere. I love that the Sun is out. I love that the Zirtec is suppressing my allergies. I love that the Sun on my face is so intense that a tiny thought of sunscreen skirts past my consciousness. I love that the to go coffee from McDonald's is hot and tastes good. I love standing in the shade at the entrance to the Main Post Office with the smattering of others that are waiting for someone. I love pretending that I too am waiting for someone. I love taking another sip of my coffee as if I had all the time in the Universe. I love overhearing the belligerent arguments of the amateur political pundits that gather near the Metro entrance. I move closer to overhear them better. I love their passion for their point of views. I love the little plastic animals that bounce around Khreschatyk hoping to be bought by some happy child. I love seeing a baby and thinking of newborn baby Iggy in Philly. I love that Khreschatyk is shutdown on Sunday. I love standing on the double white lines and closing my eyes. I love dodging the moped driver that thinks the road is not shut down for him. I love walking from Lenin to Hrushevsky. I love that I have 43 more seconds to cross the street. I love the giant plastic wedding bands on the stretch Hummer parked in front of the Opera. I love the bride and groom having their picture taken by the statue of Lysenko. I love helping the Brits with the map find their way. I love helping the Russian couple find a Ukrainian dictionary. I love that tourists here. I love Mykhailivsky Cathedral, and Sophia too. I love the children screaming on the maidanchyk. I love the adults laughing, drinking beer and prying open Pistachio nuts. I love today.

3 comments:

elmer said...

Very nice. But a hint of bordering on the manic-depressive :-)


I am glad that Kyiv today looks and is soooooooo much better than 30 years ago, despite the dysfunctional government, and the crazy car parking - I hope that they have finally realized that they should not run over pedestrians.

One thing - I think you could do a very great service if you encouraged something like London's
speaker's corner (this is in regard to the political arguments at the Metro entrance).

I think you would be doing an immeasurably great service to Ukraine.

Again - very nice post.

Bill R. said...

Hey, you have an awful lot of love.

Great post filled with optimism and a hint of frustration (in my opinion).

Keep at it.

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