Yesterday, we were able to pick up the tax ID without incident. That was really the bulk of our day– we walked around just a bit in the morning, and we went out for dinner when we got back, but nothing too exciting. However, we were quite glad to get that tax ID.
We noticed this mosaic on the bus stop on Wednesday and yesterday I asked the driver to stop. I am in love with it. Can someone recreate this in my house?
Another stop on the way home, to see ceramic lawn ornaments.
This one is for Lena. No, I didn’t buy it. I’m sorry, it was too heavy and big for my suitcase.
Chernihiv? Moscow? Kyiv? Which do you pick? We chose Kyiv for the night.
Today, we had a free morning. We didn’t too much, just exchanged money and grabbed lunch at a food stand. We got burgers, and I was quite impressed that they had fish burgers and vegan burgers. Both were only tak-sobi (so so), but still exciting to find. In the afternoon, Oksana, Olya and our driver met us to go to the big city of Lyuda’s region to apply for her passport. We were all happy to see Oksana.
One of our stops, at a favorite gas station. Lyuda, Oksana and Olya got these hot dogs, which are inside of a loaf of bread. Oksana made Lyuda ask me for the money in English– I appreciate that she helps and encourages Lyuda to learn English.
We drove up to this city, almost two hours away, and when we arrived we found out that the passport office was closed. Argh. Please pray that we can do this on Monday, and that it will be a quick thing. Lyuda requested that we visit her grandmother, and Oksana suggested that this might be a good opportunity. Sure!
When we pulled up to her grandmother’s town, we were surprised to find tons of soldiers, and a guarded gate. We explained why we were there, but they told us that we would need someone with registration to let us in. Argh. This small village is one of the main training camps for the soldiers. While we are very far from the war zone, the war was suddenly very real as we could hear gun fire in the distance and we were surrounded by soldiers. Fortunately, the matter was easily cleared up with a phone call, and we were able to enter the town.
Her babushka welcomed us with open arms, literally. Hugs all around. She lives in a classic Khrushchyovka 5-story apartment building. On the 5th floor.
We got to see photos of a young Lyuda, as well as all kinds of other family photos.
Walking back to the car to say goodbye.
Back in Kyiv, our driver twisted down some old, gorgeous streets on our way back to our apartment. Sometimes, Ukraine looks very Soviet, but many times, it has ornate beauty. This was one of those times.
Oksana had suggested a restaurant for dinner, Gastrorock. While its vegetarian dishes were lacking, overall the food was very good. I would highly recommend it for meat-eating Americans coming to Ukraine– English menus and the street (just off Andriyivsky descent) is worth the walk.
That’s it for today. The plan for the weekend is explore Kyiv.