A sports-like weekend
On Friday morning, Ruslan told me that he would be able to come visit me in Kirovograd for the weekend. This was good news for a couple of reasons, one of which is as much as I enjoy Kiev, it is hard to go there often, both cost-wise and time-wise. Therefore, when he was willing to do the work to see me, I was a happy person.
How quickly two days can go! It seems that each time he comes to see me, I end up putting him to work around my living quarters, and we end up doing a lot of running around. Yesterday it was going to the bazaar, then home, then to the store, then home, then downtown for some more errands, then to my friend’s house. I used up my last burrito seasoning packet (sad face) and made burritos for Anna and Ruslan…with brinza cheese and lavash that was not quite the same as tortillas, but better than nothing. In short, I did some improvisation.
Nevertheless, it went over well and I consider that it was a good investment of my last seasoning packet (anyone want to send me more taco and burrito seasoning? Add water refried and black beans and hummus are good too!). After dinner and discussion, Anna suggested that we go bowling. Wait, bowling? Say what? I had no idea that Kirovograd has a bowling alley! I said I was game, with the qualifying statement that I am not good at all at bowling, but enjoy doing it.
While we were walking to the bowling alley (which is really part of a building that houses three nightclubs and a billiard room), it became very clear that fall has indeed arrived. The other day, I noticed the colors of the leaves and wondered at what stage the colors are in the U.S. I also thought that last year at this time, most of the leaves had already fallen off the trees, it was much colder, and much rainier already. However, last night not only did I wear a scarf, but I broke out my lightweight gloves. Ahh, fall is here.
When we arrived to the bowling alley, I had to laugh a bit. It was six lanes, but it was reminiscent of how bowling alleys in the U.S. used to be in that it was very smoky. Ugh. Not something that I miss. I had no idea how popular it would be, but we were told it was a 45 minute wait before we could go. We had already looked at the cost and were surprised that it was 79 uah (they charge by the hour for bowling, no matter how many people you have doing it). Ruslan was most surprised, as apparently in Kiev it is far more expensive. Well…it is here too. After waiting for an hour, we followed up with the woman who works there and found out that because it was Saturday night, and it was busy, the price was actually 180 uah…so much for truth in advertising…
So we left without bowling. It is too bad, because when I saw the scores of some of the bowlers there, I did not feel so bad about my own capabilities! Ah well, maybe another time…
This morning we had more success in our sporting quest. On our way to play tennis, we passed a team that was practicing American Baseball – apparently there is a team that practices here, and does quite well. But it was just a by-the-way; we reached our destination and an hour of tennis in the cold outdoors under a fall sun, surrounded by colors, ensued.
Then it was back home and more repairs. Yesterday we successfully found mouse poison, but now it seems that the mouse may have relocated to another set of rooms (which would be fine with me). Since he was here, Ruslan also helped me change a couple of light bulbs (which I COULD have done myself but since he wanted to help…) and insulate one of my windows against the coming winter. Or do the best we could to insulate it. Last winter I felt breezes through the holes, and I wanted to avoid that this year.
Why is it that I save up all of the little things I need to do until suddenly I have to spend a whole day or weekend addressing them? Do things multiply in number when you procrastinate?
It seems that life has once again settled down into a routine. The closer winter comes, the more I will stay inside, so I need that inside to be made as comfortable as possible. Spending time with Ruslan and Anna – well, that was a bonus for the weekend!