Being thrust into the unknown, shedding your spoken and written language, losing your body’s inherent sense of time, no idea how you connect to the larger picture — it’s all a wonderful thing. It leaves you knowing who you really are without the benefit of society to lift and carry you in its mighty currents.
I’m a child.
A childlike joy in new foods and sights.
A childlike trepidation of dark corners, conquered by a childlike willingness to keep marching.
I take a keen child’s pleasure in sounding out the Ukrainian words and, every so often, actually understanding their meaning.
– Cave monastery. Kievo-Pecherskiy Lavra. The underground crypts are kinda cool, but the real highlight is walking through a thin tunnel-like building hugging the hillside being hawked religious necklaces, pocket-sized Mary and Jesus icons, holy water, anti-abortion plastic fetus sculptures, and other goodies.
– Home style lunch at Ukrainian fast food joint. Borscht and Kashi, with a mushroomy salad. Mmm mm good.
– Chernobyl museum, where what’s on display is are the human extremes for scientific cleverness generating civilization out of split atoms versus a massive PR attempt at saving face to the point putting the entire world at risk. Some of the displays are actually still a bit radioactive:
– Funicular ride up the mount to St. Sofia’s Cathedral. It’s friggin’ beautiful, gold-domed splendor, but in the end just another Cathedral Tourist Attraction. Too many gilt trimmings to really draw out any specific detail.