Monday, September 14, 2009

In my place.

The exchange rate makes me smile every single day. Example No.1) I can get a delicious mystery burrito the length of my shin, WITH cheese, for 16 hryvnia (less than $2USD). Example No.2) This weekend, we went to the opera for 30 hryvnia! Translation: Less than $4USD. This was no crummy side-street dive, either. We're talking red velvet seats, gold cherubim, crystal chandeliers, and porcelain toilets. After paying to use the porta-squatty earlier that day, I was beyond excited as I stood in line to use a free toilet in a beautiful bathroom. I couldn't quite figure out why all the women's heads were visible above the stalls though. My answer came as I swung the stall door open, revealing a very clean, flushable, but, alas, throne-free hole in the ground. It became even more awkward when I took the step up into the stall, and realized that when I stood inside, I could easily see down into the other stalls. I've had nightmares for years about being in a bathroom where all the stalls are adjoined and the walls only go up to my waist, so everybody can see each other pee. This bathroom was basically a nightmare-come-true for me.

You don't know how awkward it is taking photos is a public restroom. Please notice how high my head is above the wall, and I'm already crouched over! Really exciting, I know. The opera was great though, with a fantastic orchestra. The show was "La traviata" and I'm pretty sure the woman playing Violetta could have shattered glass with her voice. A dem fine woman, and a dem fine show (name that book!). Everybody's seats were kinda crummy, but I was too lazy to get up and switch. I sat on the far left in the balcony, where you have to lean onto the railing to actually see the stage. It was in Italian, of course, and the translation screen was in Ukrainian. And yes, Dad, I fell asleep.

This is very small and inconsequential to the rest of the world, but not to me: This is my laundry hanging on the line. I feel like such a rich American kid--I have never been without a dryer. Perspective shift, please. Yes, super-size it.

And then I leaned way out our 11th-floor window just like my parents taught me not to, and was blown away by a magnificent rainstorm marching across the city. I swear, we're not in charge.

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