Monday, June 6, 2011

Kyiv trip re-cap part 5

OK, so I'm having a great deal of difficulty getting Blogger to load my pictures in the correct order not to mention allowing me to maneuver them once they're on the screen. I'm sure it's the "nut behind the wheel", but nevertheless. It looks like the remaining posts will have to be grouped by theme and not necessarily chronologically as I had started.

This post is about public transportation for the most part. Not only are Ukrainians terrible and crazy drivers, but they park ANYWHERE. Here is an example of them parking on a sidewalk.

But they also are known to park and take up a lane of traffic! The suspensions on their cars have to be shot. I was in general surprised by the kind and number of cars I saw. They are status symbols and for the most part, from what I understand, reserved for the rich. I think the average Ukrainian does not have a car and uses public transportation.

I didn't get pictures of the metro (train) because you have to be in such a huge hurry to get on and off so the doors won't close on you. In addition to this, Tara says that the automated voice is essentially scolding you for not moving quickly enough! Here, though is a machine from which to get metro tokens.

Another mode of transportation we took was the funicular. It was like a tram. The building as well as the view was very nice.

Here are some other methods of public transportation. This is a trolley bus:

This is a hysterical sign on a (smaller yellow) marshrytka bus you can see in the picture below this one. The sign says basically that there is enough room in the bus for 21 people sitting, but in general 45. Let me assure you that the Ukrainians don't necessarily limit themselves to 45. And you do remember my mentioning the lack of deordorant used and the lack of personal space?!?

This smaller yellow bus to the left in the picture above is a marshrytka, one of which had the great sign above. One of the lovely parts about riding on a marshrytka is that most of the time, the windows are not open. Ukrainians have a thing about feeling a draft (air directly on them). They also don't use ice for a related reason. So again, remember: 1) lack of use of deordorant, 2) extremely close proximity to your fellow passengers and 3) no fresh air...though a couple times we were fortunate enough to have ones with a window open. It was pretty warm while I was there and I can't even imagine what it's like in the hottest part of the summer. I might have had to have a handkerchief or clothes pin for my nose!

Monday, after visiting St. Sofia's, Tara took me to an authetic Ukrainian restuarant where I had borsch soup. I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since it had sour cream in it and I'm not a fan of sour cream. But, it was good! We had to order our water with "no gas" (carbination), which just made me laugh. Tara ordered pizza and after waiting forever for it, we finally realized that the waiter was waiting for me to finish my soup since that was the first course and then he would bring out the pizza! Oops! Finally after "eyeing" our waiter each time he came out, he eventually brought Tara her pizza. I did have a bit of it and while it had much more than the pepperoni she ordered, it too was yummy. Earlier in the day, while visiting the beautiful St. Sofia's, I had my first experience with these "squatty potties". I can't remember if we had to pay there to use them there, but I know later in the week when we were at the mall we did. In any event, LOVELY. You furnish your own TP (which goes in the trash can). THANKFULLY squatty potty bathrooms (at least all the ones I used) had soap and water to wash your hands with!

Close-up, because one pic doesn't do them justice:

Since I'm having problems with getting pictures in here, I will save you the proof, but you can take my word for it. You had to go down several steps to get to the WC (toilet). On the door there was a sign indicating the WC was handi-cap accessible. So after you push your wheelchair-bound friend down all the steps then it's accessible? And the stall (no pics but you can take Tara's word for it, who scoped it out) was no wider than the others and had no bars for assistance. I guess this is an example of Ukraine TRYING to get more modernized.

Stay tuned for the next installment of my re-cap!

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