Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Kharkiv summer storms

There is nothing as good as a summer storm. I'm talking about the kind that come out of nowhere- it's hot, it's hot, it's hot, and then, all of the sudden, dark storm clouds pop up and thunder rumbles. (But yikes, this storm is a little much!)

And since most apartments in Ukraine come with a балкон, balcony, you're all set up for the perfect (and dry!) viewing spot.

I loved each of our three rented apartments there and had a special affection for the balconies. The pictures above are all from Apartment #3. On sunny days it was a mini-office-

Our esteemed colleague :p

- and other days it turned into our Storm Watch HQ.

Apartment #2 was on high ground and looked out over a huge swath of the city. Storm watching from here was thrilling!

The entire balcony was done in wood planks, so it felt more like a spa with a view than the traditional smoker's ledge / clothes-hanging corner. The only thing- a certain someone had claimed the balcony for himself.

Given enough Whiskas (cat food), though, he would chillax in the bedroom windowsill and allow humans to storm watch in peace.

(Also, enough Whiskas will turn a small cat into a much larger cat.)

It was around this time that we got caught outside in a MASSIVE downpour one late summer afternoon. People were swimming in the streets, no joke. My "fancy" Ukrainian shoes dissolved and washed away. After that I broke down and bought some rainboots ;)

Apartment #1 had a basic balcony. Narrow at one end, wider at the other. Tattered wallpaper. Drafty windows. A dangerously-low clothesline that made everyone duck. An old ashtray. Broken tiles stacked up against the wall.

In other words, I loved this balcony too. We filmed some crazy weather with a terrible camera from here.

(And enjoyed the good weather, too!)

Of course, there were plenty of stormy skies we saw while scouting out shelter from the coming rain.

I'm hoping for a few good summer thunderstorms in Portland soon. In a city known for its rainfall, you'd think we'd get a few winners!

What's the thunderstorm situation like where you are?


  1. I don't think there has been a thunderstorm here since I moved here. We've had rain, but I don't remember any lightning or thunder. It makes me sad because I love thunderstorms.

    Your balcony's are so cute. We can't get to ours because the room to that balcony is locked. My boyfriend has a great balcony though. I tell him we need to get a couch out there so we can sit and enjoy the nice weather.

    Also, I LOVE that picture of the chairlift. I don't know why!

    1. Wow! Kharkiv's kind of far away, but maybe it's been stealing all your thunderstorms ;) What's the locked door about? Are you renting, and the owner has a "private" room?

      You would totally dig that chairlift, Jasilyn. And they've painted it in super-bright colors since then. Hey, here's the perfect post for you- it's the kanatnaya doroga + street art! (If you leave Ufa, maybe you could stay in Kharkiv for a while? Think about it- thunderstorms + awesome street art scene + lots of work for English teachers...)