For the moment
After our mini-camp ended on Friday afternoon, I decided to spend an extra day in Smila and check out the sites, so to speak.
The first order of business, however, was going to the bus “station” and purchasing my ticket home. As I did not want to end up on another 11:00 at night bus, I was pretty insistent on this point. On the way back to T’s place, we stopped in a supermarket, and not only did we purchase our own goods, but all of the meat for the barbecue to which we had been invited that evening. Sounds easy enough, except we had to buy 4 kilos (about 9 pounds) of meat – this should have been an indicator of how the evening was to go…
We carried all of the products (by hand) on a nice walk to our host’s house, and when we got there we were greeted by a man who spoke English, and who sounded like he was not from Ukraine…good guess, as he turned out to be from Wales. It is so strange how expats seem to find each other here in Ukraine. I think it is because when Ukrainians speak English, they always like to have the native speakers with whom they can practice. And then they connect the native speakers.
In any case, after the barbecue we went to a nightclub. This is not something I frequently do, so it was fun to do some dancing, but after a certain time of night I was ready to cry “uncle”.
Yesterday after a late start, we took a walk with our “tour guide”, who showed us the market, the park, and the church. As with many Ukrainian towns and cities, the church has gold domes. More interestingly, when we were there, we were able to see three domes up close, as they were on the ground — I don’t know if they were new, undergoing cleaning and repair, or what, but it was pretty cool to see them up close and I got a few really interesting photos with the reflections.
Then Theo decided to show us the well on the church grounds. When we got to the little building that houses the well, we saw an older woman getting water from it. Theo really wanted to use the apparatus to get water up, so she tried to do the same thing the “baba” did. Unfortunately, because Theo does not have the practice that the baba did, it was a little bit of a disaster (a loud one) getting the bucket back down the well shaft. And then when she tried to bring a bucket of water up, she had a hard time (I stepped in and assisted, which of course meant that I had to harass her for being too weak to do it herself).
The rest of the tour included a visit with a woman and her goat (more photos for Theo to add to her “with animals” collection), the tour of the park, provoking some geese into hissing at us so I could take photos, and my bus ride home to Kirovograd in an older bus that was, at its full time, half full but where people did not open the windows.
So I am back in Kirovograd. For the moment. After doing laundry, which I can only hope will dry by tomorrow evening, I got a bit lazy today and watched a few movies I got from E on her visit. Otherwise my accomplishment of the day was going to the big park in Kirovograd to see the “pensionnaires” dance. Every Sunday at 5:00 (I think) during warm months, the park opens up its “disco” area for a group of retired folks to come and dance. It was really interesting, and they had a great deal of fun. They kept trying to drag us in, but I knew that trick – you then become the center of attention…so I said I had done enough dancing two nights ago for a while…