Sunday, September 2, 2012

Welcome to Kharkov!

I have finally made it to Kharkov, Ukraine - the city I will call home at least until May.  But first, let me back track a little. The week I spent in Kiev with Nastia and her mom was one of the very best weeks this girl could hope for.  We slept in a little everyday, drank tea and had breakfast together, and then set out for a full day of enjoying the city, going to movies, going to a museum or two, and just enjoying being together. We ended every day watching an episode or two of a TV show online or a movie. We mostly watched things in Russian.  I even introduced Nastia to "The Vow" and got to see it in Russian.  One day we spent at her great grandmother's house in a village about 40 minutes from Kiev, chasing chickens and enjoy the fresh air.  I also had a chance to visit Maria, the woman I stayed with last summer.  It was so nice to see her again and she made me lunch, her neighbor came over, and I told her everything about my life this past year.  She was very surprised that I was in Kiev because this time last year the plan was still for me to go to St. Petersburg for the year. Hopefully I'll be seeing her again soon!   By the time Wednesday morning came around I was very sad to leave.  I consider Nastia and her mom to be like family to me in Ukraine and my stay with them was so fun.  But all the same, when that 4:30 alarm clock went off I was up and about and preparing for my 6:15 train to Kharkov.  The train was comfortable and fast and there was even wifi on the train! Since when did the former USSR become so fancy? When I arrived in Kharkov Jason met me at the train station and we went by taxi to the apartment where I met my roommates and settled in a bit.  We went to the store and I spent the rest of the day just relaxing and getting to know the new roomies a bit more.  There are currently five of us girls here, although there is supposed to be a sixth student coming who is a boy.  He's currently stuck with visa problems though.
Thursday and Friday were orientation days followed by an excursion Saturday with some Ukrainian friends.  We road a gondola and had some really beautiful views of a less busy part of the city.  That gondola 100% would not have passed safety inspections in the US, but is was fun none the less.  At the end of the gondola we were near Gorky Park, an amusement park of sorts in Kharkov, and spent some time walking around there.  It was newly remolded and many people came there after the Day of Knowledge (September 1st/first day of school) celebrations in the morning.  It was packed with people, but it's a fun place to walk around.  Saturday evening we returned to the square near the university for part of the concert.  Vera and I were pretty tired though, so we didn't stay super late.  Long enough to see a few groups, ooo and aaa at fireworks, and take in the atmosphere of it all.
Sunday morning Vera and I went to church and then I moved! Surprise! The first room I was in was really tiny, but beyond that there just needed to be a little roommate switcheroo so I packed up my only recently unpacked suitcases and with Jason's awesome help moved about an 8 minute walk away to the apartment of Vera and Megan.  My room in that apartment is much bigger, Vera can help me with Ukrainian, and we both really love music and will be in choir together.  I really loved living with Kayla and Masha and will still be seeing them often, of course, but I'm also happy about the new apartment.  We're a little further from the metro, but much closer to the grocery store.  After I moved we took an excursion to the planetarium, which was interesting, but a little low-tech.  We were all starving after the planetarium because we had hardly eaten all day, so we made a grocery store stop and immediately cooked food when we got back.  I finished unpacking and Vera and I took a walk to the other apartment.  I was really tired earlier today when we were at the planetarium, but now I'm too excited about Mario's arrival and classes starting tomorrow to want to sleep.
I'll try to write more frequently these next weeks!

1 comment:

  1. Kharkiv is considered to be a Ukrainian city with a very developed industry. Moreover, it is a beautiful city, really worth to see it. That is why there are lots of vacationers and business tourists. It makes hotel rooms prices to grow up. I create a directory of Kharkiv apartments to rent People can find there cinviniant flats for reasonable prices. If you know other good Kharkiv apartments, you can submit their contacts to this directory.