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Найбільш розумний курс дій 28/01/2012

Posted by brendan in Avions, Trains et Voitures.
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Last Morning

Double espresso! Double espresso! But there was no coffee jerk chasing crumbs on this morning. In the category Not Waking Up Sans Kidneys in a Bathtub Filled with Ice Hostel Yaroslav wins a gold star. In the category Not Returning to Find Expensive Electronics Stolen they take the cake. In the competition for Best Breakfast Buffet Deal someone entered a double-burner hotplate before passing out backstage. Janice hoisted me from the tangled remains of my bed and hauled me through the early morning sounds of Podil to the nearest cafe.


Some voluntary vagabond had taken residence in the shower stall, leaving us to wring the sweat from our clothes before packing. Through the darkened hallway then down flights of concrete stairs to pass the key to a different receptionist than we’d met the day before. Janice found a corner in the barren kitchen where the meager complimentary wifi could be harnessed and double-checked that we knew what we were doing.

What we were doing was leaving Kyiv. (more…)


У Києві, у відповідь Ні 13/09/2010

Posted by brendan in Avions, Trains et Voitures.
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Soldiers carrying machine guns and vomiting elves constitute the dregs of a fourteen hour train ride through hinterlands. Mosquitoes swarmed and hospitality mirrored a Tijuana drunk tank but this stagnant sardine-tin on wheels afforded a slight solace. Resignation reigns supreme when you have no power over destiny. Behind the sealed windows a team of smuggling railway matrons knew our plight as daft idiots and, while they probably didn’t want to be bothered, they were determined to ensure delivery to Kyiv. Passing the cramped confines of the services compartment stained by years of coffee disasters, plastic cups and rolls of paper towels strewn about the floor, would find us on our own.

What the hell do I know about Ukraine? I went to highschool with a Ukrainian. As we sat in the back row during graduation ceremonies he decided to reveal why his family shipped him halfway around the world for a poor education. His friends sold drugs, encountered some tough competition, and were massacred. Cops found him laying in the street.. Do I want to see the bullet wounds? No, but he stood up to show what the uzi had done to his ass anyway.

According to the Poles the Ukrainians will steal the bread from your mouth.

Standing on the platform scratching heads seemed like a terrible idea. The signs are in Cyrillic and lack arrows. Clusters of mustached men were scattered about, peering intently at the disgorged horde. They could be watching for loved ones, they could be watching for marks like us– no way to know for sure. All I know is that they grew up with uzis, rampant alcoholism, Soviet overseers, and an economic depression deeper than the decaying pits where their black hearts once pumped pure acid. Follow the crowd, and if Janice decided to attempt any print-out aided transliteration I probably would have screamed. (more…)