Thursday, August 4, 2011

First few days in Kiev

I'm in Kiev!! Despite my rather inauspicious arrival, things are going quite well. It's wonderful to be back in the former Soviet Union, where everything makes sense (in somewhat of a jacked-up, I've spent too much time in this part of the world kind of way), and where I can actually communicate with most people.

I'm staying with a couple,
Pavel and Helen, who had been wonderful enough to say that I could bring Charlie (before I was offered the job in Seoul - no reason to drag my cat to Ukraine if I'm going back to Korea!). Pavel is a composer (his website is here) and they have an absolutely hilarious cat, who enjoys sniffing my bags for evidence of Charlie. He had been promised a Korean feline girlfriend, and I think he might be a little disappointed.

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The view from my window in the morning


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The view at sunset

My friend D (whom I met back in '08 when I was living in Kyrgyzstan) lives in the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk, but he has been in Kiev for the past few days. He and his Ukrainian girlfriend will be getting married in a few months, and he's been spending the past few days running about Kiev going to various government offices getting official permission to marry her. In his free time, he's been showing me around. We've basically just been wandering around Kiev (гулаетing, as the russlish goes), and I've taken a ton of photographs. A few can be seen below; the rest can be seen by clicking here.

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Пузата Хата (Puzata Hata), D's favorite chain of Ukrainian food and kitsch


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Stalinist prime architecture, downtown Kiev


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In the central market


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View of Kiev and the Dnepr River


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Monument to the Motherland


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In the upper right you can see the Eternal Flame.
You might notice that it seems to have been extinguished.


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We went to a pizza restaurant. I requested зелень (fresh herbs) as one of my toppings... they went a tad overboard.

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Some of my favorite former Soviet Union snacks :-)

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One of my favorite former Soviet Union drinks is тан - kind of like carbonated buttermilk. Except that the only тан I've been able to find so far is uncarbonated. It's not bad, but it's not the same...

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Monument to the eternal friendship between the peoples of Ukraine and Russia. A little ironic, given recent strains in relations.

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One of the many Orthodox cathedrals in Kiev. This is St. Michael's.

I have taken a ton of photographs so far, and I've only had two days out and about in the city. All of my Kiev photos can be viewed on flickr by clicking here. Enjoy!

2 comments:

G said...

Nice Twix!

I really need to travel with you in the FSU so you can do all of the spying and talking!

Anonymity said...

The FSU would be nearly impossible to travel in without a guide or translator if you didn't speak the language(s). It's crazy enough when you can actually communicate! We should go to Vladivostok some day.