|Halloween already? No, even scarier- school!|
Knowledge Day, or День Знаний, was yesterday. It represented a return to homework, books, and teachers' dirty looks, for classes are back in session. The streets were filled with students in uniform, heading home from the day's ceremonies. The uniforms are slightly shocking. They're adorable on a child-
Britney Spears. And male readers, before you get all worked up, let me tell you that these uniforms aren't worn every day (although some say that they are supposed to be).
|В школу, to school|
|"When will September 1st come?!"|
- as a boxer. Shirt off, boxing gloves on.
- as a soldier (who looked more like a mercenary). Machine gun and ammo belts included.
- as a... mafia don? In a business suit, holding a briefcase with gobs of $100 bills sticking out.
- as a cave man, complete with dinosaur bone club
this issue is a battle cry, right?) Her husband passed away and she lives now with her daughter and son-in-law. Or perhaps they live with her, it's hard to say which came first in Ukraine. Now she earns about $50 USD a month working as a вахта and she often starts her sentences with у нас (in our country) or в Америке (in America). Two of her favorite philosophical topics are the end of the world and the possibility of her own death. I never know what to say when those topics come up. I was glad when she switched to more light-hearted stories, such as the time her tour bus stopped near a poppy field, and all the passengers brought so many poppies on board that everyone felt ill from the flowers' effects.
D got most of the verbal barrage. L is quite the talker. If each of her words were a drop of water, her speech would be Niagara falls. At the beginning I could follow almost every drop, but by the end it just blurred and I sat back in fascination at this waterfall of words. L is a kind woman, as evidenced by her concern for us and her gifts, but L is also a very strong woman. In my opinion, anyone over 50 in Ukraine has incredible strength of character. The weak just don't survive. L told us a story about going to Moscow in 1998 with a suitcase full of goods to sell. This was not long after the end of the Soviet Union and the entire region was going through a rapid and chaotic series of currency devaluations. After selling the goods in Moscow the ruble crashed and the money she'd just earned from the sale become almost worthless. As I've heard many others from this generation do, L reminisced about life in the Soviet Union- free education, guaranteed housing, and oh, the tomatoes on the kolhoz!
Speaking of the good ol' days, schoolchildren weren't the only thing we saw yesterday. I want to end this post with a political ad that's popped up around town. I've posted pictures of the Ukrainian Communist Party ads before, but this is a new one.
|Unemployment is the whip of the oligarchs. Vote for the Communist Party of Ukraine!!! Choose prosperity and happiness!!! Return the country to the people.|