As I sit here I think about where I live in Kyiv now. I have moved from the centre to the Obolon district. It’s about a 40 minute metro ride (2 different ones) or about the same amount of time by taxi.
The centre area had been nice and close to many things but the move to Obolon was because it’s less expensive and quieter. I guess 1,000,000 live in this district! I know hard to believe an area with one million people would be more quiet but it is. I also have a number of friends in this area and a coffee shop I like to frequent.
My flat is a renovated one bedroom on the 13th floor with a nice view out over the edge of the city and nearby park area. I don’t have any photos with me here but it’s nice. I come in thru a small entryway with a closet. A very small kitchen area, (range, sink and refrigerator) which opens up into a nice living room. A separate bedroom and a nice bathroom with a washing machine in it.
When you walk into the building which you need your magnetic fob to get in the door and there is always a lady there to keep an eye on who comes in and out. In my building they are referred to as the concierge. The older Russian buildings and flats I believe they are still known as, Babushkas? These ladies take their jobs seriously as I have had my phone ring on more than one occasion by friends who have come to visit: Al, I’m downstairs and they won’t let me up, come get me please. I know they watch for everyone but they really keep an eye out for me not so much as a foreigner but maybe the fact that I have given all four of them chocolate and flowers. Hey I know who takes care of me after all.
Now the size of my flat is not large. Around 800 sq. ft.. I’ve been in some Ukrainian friends flats who have smaller ones. Who live in studios but I also know of whole families who live in much smaller flats. A whole family living in an area of at most 500 sq. ft. and these flats are in much poorer condition than mine. The area in Wisconsin (Waunakee) that I came from I'd say the houses in the old section of town were 1,200 sq. ft. on average. The new section now has many that are 3,500 to 5,000 or more! Sadly many can’t afford them but oh well it's about the show. I wonder how these people would feel if they had to work as hard as many do here just so they could afford cramped housing? There are of course people here who have big flats and houses but the majority do not.
Just food for thought. Be happy and grateful for what you do have.
This is the Hotel Obolon (can you tell by the sign?). It is right next to my building. Same style building which is to say it's not the old Soviet style.
The Dnieper river is a short walk from my place. Lined with restaurants in my area and if you want you can walk all the way into the center of Kyiv.
A 5 minute walk from my place is Dream Towne 1 (here) Dream Towne 2 is one block behind which you can't see. These shopping centers are HUGE. The photos do not give them justice at all. I frequent this one to get a coffee most mornings. The word NOVUS on the front is a supermarket and the word above in the blue banner that you see is: SPORT MASTER which is a sporting goods store.
A huge thank you to the internet for allowing me to 'borrow' these three photos.
Yes I’m still here and wow does time go fast! I know it has been too long since I last posted(( It seems that if it’s not one thing it’s another that keeps taking my time but yes It is time for me to try to get back on track and do some posting on a more regular basis. It will also make my friend Kate happy as she doesn’t hesitate to remind me to “post something Al”.
One of the many rows of housing in this area. One of which I stay in.
To begin with the title of my blog: Al in Ukraine and the World. Well it’s true as I’m sitting in my friends place in Gran Alicante Spain! I'm spending the summer here. A chance to work and catch up on reading, do some meditating and catch up on my prayer life. I desperately miss my friends in Kyiv but this is a chance to reset the timeline on my passport and try again to get a long term visa when I return.
I thought my old farm had rocks but it is nothing compared to this part of Spain. The whole area is built on stone. Back where I came from in Wisconsin you would have become rich just making it a gravel pit. What you see instead here are row upon row of housing. There are locals who live and work here, some Russians who like to travel here and a large share of English citizens. Apparently this area is a favourite vacation spot for them. Inexpensive air fares, warmth, (it’s been around 90 every day I’ve been here),the Mediterranean and SUNSHINE. Something that I have been told is normally in short supply in England.
Other than the beach there is not much else to do here it seems. The locals tell me that it doesn’t pay to go into Alicante or anywhere else really. Just different restaurants and well more beaches. The food here also caters to the British and some Spanish. Not the Mediterreran food I was hoping for.
As I get a chance I will start catching this blog up with the news from when I was in Ukraine. No particular order just as I search thru my photos and what I feel like posting. I hope you enjoy the journey.
Looking out over the Mediterranean Sea with the mountains in the distance
This land train makes a loop every hour taking you to the beach area, restaurants and a shopping center
One of a number of flowering plants I walk by daily