Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Exceeding Capacity

OK, I know I promised you a little story about each kids personality this time, but I am in the Kiev train station again at the internet cafe. We are here to see Zina as she and several orphans come up to practice the Russian shoemaker play. They will leave at 3 am this Friday and perform this play at several Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and New York locations. We will take the train into Kiev each morning then jump on the Metro to the CBN offices for the next two or three days to see her. At around 1pm or so, we will repeat the process to get back in time to pick up the three kids.

My title has to do with the phenomenon of Ukrainian travel. I have ridden the Metro and at rush hour, you can be very close with people you have never met. But nothing compares to this morning's train ride. WOW! Now I know how sardines feel! We were quite literally squeezed into the train by the mob of people getting in the door. I spooned with several babuskas and honery men all the while not knowing what to do with my hands! If I left them by my side, they were definately stuffed next to someones "nether regions". If I raised them, I groped some poor babuskas "blouse area" in the process of getting them out of the previously mentioned "cracks". I told Heidi what was going on during this time (she was somewhere under my arm pit) and we both laughed histerically as we went bumpty-bump down the tracks. Great time!

The same kinda thing has happened to us on the Metro if and when we went during rush hour. One has to let go of personal space in this country. You are expected to participate in this version of personal closeness if you want to traverse the city with 6 million of your closest friends. Don't think that the little Marshukas (small city buses that take people from town to town, not to be confused with city buses) are any different either. I counted 45 people getting into our 35 seat marshuka from Kherson to Odessa last April.

It should be noted though, that I actively participate in the exceeding of capacity with our taxi driver. Who wants to pay double for the same ride? I have learned from the driver that the car is a 1965 Russian auto and that the right side brakes do not work. This car and I were "born" the same year! When the driver stops, the car veers left and he steers right. We repeat this overloading everyday with three adults and three kids in a car built for only four people. Do you guys remember the Datsun B210 (I had one)? This car is about that size. I wonder everyday if we will stop at the next intersection or if the left side brakes give out. Luckly, this driver is a kindly old man who I know can use the grivna we are paying. He drives slow and the price is right.

It only costs about $5 per trip for the taxi, about .40 cents for the metro, and .50 cents for the train to Kiev. For those prices, I'll gladly spoon with my buddy Igor, Ivan, Sasha.....

~ Felix ~


Rolan, Eileen, Josh and Ransom said...

Those little sociological nuances are what entertain me the most. I love hearing about the various modes of people moving. Miss you(s). We may get snow this weekend. Finally. You may want to e-mail Amy and have her water some of your shrubs on a day above freezing. It's been too dry and the snow won't be enough. Unless we get a foot!

MamaPoRuski said...

Laughing with tears! I still can't shake the memory of both of us getting body checked by a babuska going out the in door of the mini-mart, she didn't even break stride!
AAhh feel the love!?

adopting2fromUkraine said...

Oh boy, does that bring back memories! LOL I will never forget the first time I went to the Kiev train station and someone PUSHED me through the door! I guess they didn't shove me so hard I could fall down, but it was a shock to say the least. I couldn't believe how many people could fit through those doors or how many stairs a train station could have. LOL

We never experienced the bus rides. We just watched the buses going down the road filled to capacity with people standing. We just didn't know the bus routes, or we might have braved it;) But we did ride the marshrutka. Ours cost a whole greevna (20cents) We were the first ones on since the orphanage was pretty much the first stop. Then I watched in amazement while person after person piled on that van. We still had miles to walk since the marshrutka dropped us off downtown. We mostly took the taxi, but after finding out our guy that the facilitator set us up with kept hiking up his price, we started shopping around. It paid off!

We also would watched the waves of people get off the bus at Independence Square. If you weren't careful and walked too near, they could sweep you away!! :0


About Us

My photo
Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.