Happy Friday! To wrap up my thoughts on Kiev, I wanted to share Kiev as experienced by the senses. Sometimes, months after an adventure, you will suddenly be reminded of a moment in time just by the smell of fresh baking bread or the texture of a dress. As you read, leave a comment on what you think I might be missing! Did I forget to add the taste dried fish or the smell of cigarettes?
Sight: Well, frankly, a lot of gray. Many of the Soviet Era buildings are aging, some of them not so gracefully. But if you look closely, there are brilliant patches in the cement city. Kiev locals can dress very colorfully. Orthodox churches traditionally have a gold roof, which can be seen from far away, shining in the sun. I also really enjoy the green canopy of the parks in the city.
Touch: Metals. A lot of the doors in Kiev are metal. So are the handles on the metro. Also, people in Kiev touch other people. Ukrainians are more affectionate; I loved being able to watch people of all ages get swept up in the moment.
Hear: Techno music, mostly when in transit. Choirs singing from the churches in every neighborhood. Children playing, the kindergarten used to play outside my window every morning.
Smell: Diesel and Sweat. Whenever you walking anywhere in Kiev, you will have an exhaust pipe overtake your senses. Once you get to your metro stop and step into your train car you will inevitably smell the odors of everyone around you–sans air condition. During the summer, in the heat of the day you also might find yourself overwhelmed by the scent of hot garbage. After you step out of your sweaty train car, you will walk past street vendors and smell the fresh perogi, inducing hunger into unsuspecting people.
Next…I am going to head back to the States. To Baltimore, Bmore or Charm City. Whatever you call it, it is my temporary home for now.