Monday, January 19, 2009

Kiev continues!

So saturday we went and saw the city.  It was really fun.  We saw the Golden Gate (the ancient entrance to Kiev 900AD), Saint Sofia Cathedral, and Independence Square.  And we went to the most awesome Ukrainian cafeteria.  You pointed at amazing Ukrainian food and they gave it to you and then you went to the kaca and paid (2 dollars for a HUGE meal, varenki, borsht, dill bread, potatoes, the exchange rate is awesome) and then you went and sat down at one of huge, very Russian, very unprivate tables.  It was sweet.  Sunday, I went to church at the international branch so sadly it was in English.  But the speakers were both actually Russian.  One guy gave an awesome talk about how Satan could be compared to this radio sport that he used to play when he was younger where you would stick radio signal messer-uppers out in the field so that your enemy couldn't find their way to the next spot.  He's the institute teacher too so it'll be fun.  Then after church we went to the Branch president's house for brownies and a security briefing.  They said Kiev is actually comparatively safe when compared to Philadelphia, New York or other US cities of comparable size.  But he said that crime is on the rise because of the depression which is hitting Ukraine hard.  One of my friends told me her host mom said we have to be careful because last month a lot of people weren't paid so they are desperate.  He said also that political demonstrations tend to happen during depressions so we need to be careful.  I was really tired so I decided to go home.  I started walking back with two friends.  But pretty soon we didn't really know where we were.  They begged me to ask for directions but while I knew how to ask I wasn't sure if I'd understand the response so I was really really nervous.  Finally, I mustered my courage and asked a less angry looking babushika (everyone here looks extremely angry because smiling or talking in public is not done).  I asked very haltingly where the metro station was.  She smiled and nodded encouragingly and then took me by the arm and dragged me over and pointed (I love babushki).  We were 100 feet from it.  So then I got on and went home.  Pretty soon it was time for me to leave for the fireside but the other girls hadn't left yet so I wait for them.  to be continued....

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