Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm back!

The alarm at 3:30 AM came a bit too soon after less than two hours of sleep.  Rubbing my eyes I quickly got ready and we headed to the train station where my bus to the airport was departing. After lots of hugs, a few tears, and promises to Skype that night I was on the bus and headed to the airport.  I was afraid that the heavy snow out by the airport might delay the flight, but the de-icing procedure only put us a few minutes behind schedule.  I snagged a window seat and was out cold for the flight, waking up just in time to see Kiev from the air before our landing.  Collecting my luggage and going through boarder control took a while, but getting back into Ukraine didn't cause me any problems.  In fact, the boarder guard seemed genuinely uninterested in the validity of my documents and only asked "Рейс откуда?" (From where was your flight?) before stamping my passport and waving me through.

Ever need to travel between Kharkov or Kiev and Munich? Might I suggest these guys:

The tickets are inexpensive and the flight is quite comfortable.  The restrictions on luggage and hand baggage are pretty-strictly enforced, but my luggage for a 5-week trip easily abided by the regulations. You can easily get a one-way ticket for about 70-80 euros depending on which day you fly and that is a direct flight from Kiev Zhulhany to Memminghem.  The bus to the center of Munich will cost you about 15 euros.  If you are coming from Kharkov, a ticket on the fast train to Kiev will cost you about 20 euros. A fairly cheap and comfortable option, especially if traveling on a budget is a priority. Flying out of Kharkov to Munich is always going to cost you quite a bit more, so if you can take the train to Kiev first, I would suggest it. If you have someone to visit in Kiev, all the better!

Nastia, being the always amazing friend that she is, was waiting for me at the airport. There were big hugs and admittedly a bit of excited shrieking. We traveled to the train station and shoved, kicked, and struggled placed my suitcase into a locker before spending the afternoon hanging out around the city.  I was excited to eat at Пузата Хата and we checked out the newly opened shopping center Ocean Plaza.  It's huge, beautiful, modern, and unbelievable. A perfect example of the disparity in this country.  Nastia's mom was able to meet up with us too and we all had lots of interesting stories to share. The day went by much too quickly and before I knew it I was on the express train headed back to Kharkov.
Hanging out at Ocean Plaza

Puzata Hata!

Calling and then finding the taxi  outside of the train station thankfully wasn't the overly stressful ordeal it can sometimes become and before I knew I was back at the apartment and Megan was greeting me at the door! I threw my stuff in my room and we immediately boiled water for tea, treats, and catching up in the kitchen.  A couple of hours later we had scratched the surface of the past month's stories, but I am sure that this entire week will be filled with recollections of the winter break.

When I went back to my room I found this...

And then moved my bed out a little more and found this...

Which was at the time completely full and had to be emptied into the sink.

Megan tells me that the pot had been put there by our handyman (aka the landlord's son) and that he would be back soon to fix it.  What "it" is and exactly how it may be fixed no one seems to know.

Before I went to sleep I had to make my promised Skype call, but by that point was too tired to be up for much chatting.  The Superbowl was airing on the TV in Munich, so Mario informed me as to who was playing.  This morning I found out that the Ravens won, Beyonce gave a good halftime performance, and the power went out during the game (were they playing in Ukraine or something???).

someone didn't know I was taking pictures ;p

Today I slept in and then showered and slowly unpacked and organized my room. I was very excited to go to the grocery store and purchase the Ukrainian groceries I had been missing. Chatty дедушка Иван just happened to be leaving the building as we were returning from the store, so we had no choice but to stop and talk.  For some reason he already has the idea in his head that we are from Germany, so he wasn't surprised at all to find out where I had been the past few weeks. I can only imagine all of the neighborhood gossip going on about the strange foreigners of uncertain nationality.

New kid number one of two arrived early this morning. When Megan gets home we are going to make vareniki and take them over for a little bit of getting acquainted.  I also want to check out the new apartment following its face-lift over break.

Let the new semester begin!

The collection of cards I acquired over the break

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back! :) Now just ignore the weather and immerse yourself in fun stuff until spring comes!