I would like to say I’m growing up fast. One day I walked two blocks alone. Another day I took the trolleybus alone. Another I took a bus 7 hours alone. And then I took a bus 9 hours alone.
The 7 hour and the 9 hour covered the same ground, but the first only had problems with the steering wheel and the other needed the engine to be gazed upon and the tires to be kicked, along with other frequent TLC/survival rituals.
But, even 9 hours in a bus in 90 degree weather crowded with people who are afraid of drafts, is pleasant when most of the fellow prisoners are kind and the people on both ends of the journey are deeply wonderful.
After arriving and eating magical borscht, we walked around the city and saw things that were grand, mostly because friends dwell among them and because I was not thinking about how bad I am at teaching English.
Also, we sampled some wine and that was nice.
It was a honor to worship with the church there and see everyone again. And then drink minty lemonade and talk about fish.
Then there were a series of good experiences with museums full of weddings and one funeral (I wanted to crash the funeral desperately) and strange things and fizzy water and general warmness and then snow and ancient Egypt… Yes. Good times.
And then there was more food. Potato pancakes and probably the best meat that has ever touched my lips. Veggies too. And berries and more music and Psalm singing/observing (when my phone wasn’t overheating, I was getting videos for those of us who are either language or music impaired. Or both).
Then talking about what has happened and what may happen in Ukraine. And what should happen. And what can happen. And…cry.
On the way home, I mostly scared myself when I spoke. “Who’s speaking English here???” I thought, and then laid my head back down and go to a new music album and secretly watch a man pop his glass eye in and out of its socket. Things of this nature while I maintained a state of mild delirium.
And then this happened:
And generally I had lots of feelings.
In an effort to quit crying with my head under my backpack, I drew this bad picture at a bus stop. Sometimes I have to draw horrible pictures and eat and sleep for awhile before I can write about things.
Then I came home and did this:
But first I actually took the most glorious shower of all time and ate the coldest, most beautiful water melon discovered by man.