Finally back. Now I am in Romania, in the city of Baia Mare in
Carpathians. Returned on Sunday the 4th May. And now I'm
going to share my impressions. Of course, the ones from my Lviv travel.
A month before the travel, on CDs of a colleague of mine at work I found
a couple of albums of the Ukrainian rock band called "Okean Elzy". I'd
been hunting for a long time for those albums. It happened to coincide
with the period of rising of old romantic emotional experiences related
to the love which passed away. Yes, I know they're only chimical
reaction in my brain. A usual spring crisys. But it happens very
frequently that some life periods get associated with certain music.
There are many songs that from the first accords ivoke pictures from the
past in my memory. But sometimes, even if you didn't hear a thing before,
lyrics of a song can remind of
something. So, there was a week when day and night I was listening to the
Kvitka (means "flower" in Ukrainian) song.
It must be nice to write music. To its tunes people fall in love, meet each
other, leave, wait, make love.. Memories about it remain as accords, drive and
rythm. The idea of such a participation in lives of people you don't even
know is great. I want even to get back to piano which I gave up in childhood
after three years of studies, or to learn bass guitar.
At the other hand, it's nice to realize that similar romantics can be found
in everyday programming too. For example, I am sure that with the help of
one of my programs various dudes discuss
everything, from work to sorting out relationships. For sure, someone
arranges a meeting or tells about changed plans. In English, German, Russian,
Swedish, Ukrainian, Korean.. The program lets them to communicate, which
already is very nice to realize.
So either it was Ukrainian rock music which inspired me to visit the Homeland,
or it was a need to get rid of the melancholy with the help of new
impressions. Some of this was the reason to go to Lviv, where my friends
were inviting me to visit them since quite a while. Having in mind that I
had only seen Chernovtsy before in whole Western Ukraine, it was very
interesting to take a look at the biggest (and the most known) city in
Actually, I could never manage to make an exact route before going
somewhere, with all the time schedules of transport and stuff. Neither
this time I was good at this boring activity. Having in mind
that form my previous travelling experience I knew that those schedules
are changed for several time during the trip. Especially when you go somewhere
for the first time. Here in Eastern Europe it's not Germany or Switzerland,
thus exactness and obligation are not strong parts of ours. The main
principle is that with every turn to the next location you find transport to
the next one. Only money here should be enough, and it's possible to orient
directly on the spot.
So I only estimated an approximate route, through which localities I had
to go and where to get finally. The way looked something like this: Baia
Mare-Nyiregyhaza-Zahony-Csop (Chop)-Lviv. Looks simple, huh? Also there was a great
comfort, the Baia Mare-Budapest bus which also went through Nyiregyhaza. It
leaved on 7am from the central bus station. Thinking that my initial plan was
ok, I set alarm clock to 5:40 and went to bed. Before I packed up my travel
bag and made sure I didn't forget the charger for my digicam.
Morning, a small cup of coffee to wake up. A cab to the bus station. I was
very disappointed when the bus wasn't there by the time. Moreover, there were
no people at all on the platform where it comes usually. A bus to Satu Mare
left too, with a pretty girl who was smiling at me. So I left there alone.
I decided to address my WTF questions to the bus station superia. They told
me they didn't know anything about the bus to Budapest, because the agency
it beyonged to only rented a platform there. However, after seeking some notes,
they gave me the agency's phone number. I called them from the mobile. The guy
with a Hungarian accent told me that because of the Easter which was coming
the next day the bus wasn't on the route. I still have no idea since when
the Hungarians celebrate the Orthodox Easter, and I didn't ask that. Because
it was already clear that my plans were changing directly from the starting
A Romanian colleague of mine who I phoned shortly, told me to not lose time
and to go hitch-hiking to Satu Mare immediately. From the neighbour city it
was possible to get to Petea, a checkpoint on the Hungarian border. The
same way it was possible to cross the border and to go to the nearest railway
station. Frankly speaking, I didn't have too much experience with hiking,
but here it doesn't differ a lot from taxi. Noone will give you a lift for
free, but anyway, it costs less than a taxi.
So I went out to the place on the exit from the city and started hiking. After
20 or 30 minutes of standing there with a stretched hand an old "Mercedes"
stopped. At the wheel there was a guy in a Panama, which made him look like
a typical taxi driver. Actually he was a taxi driver, though not local, the
number plate was from Satu Mare. He drove someone to Baia Mare from there,
and now he was going home. On the way people were getting in and out, the
majority of them were from villages nearby. The driver turned out to be a
very talkative guy, so he was asking everyone who they were and where were
going. And from the way an old women who was hiking on the road he told with
the 100% exactness where she was going and how much money would give him.
It was interesting to go with the guy, I found out a lot of local news, that
they closed all the markets in the area because of some kind of pig disease,
and that someone of the city bosses was in prison for stealing.
In hadn't been to Satu Mare before. When the driver found out that, he told
he wanted to show me the thing the city citizens are proud about, the city
council building. Initially it was built as a local office of the communist
party of Romania. Now the city adiministration resides there. However, smiling,
we constatated that not a great thing was changed - the same people remained
inside, and only the title now was different. The building was a high tower
made of concrete, with a quite totalitarist look, and had really great
dimensions. Unfortunatelly I didn't manage to take a picture, but hey, we
have google images to
fix such cases. By a link it gave me I found the
web city of the city,
which looked quite nice. It also has an images gallery.
We discussed the payment before, so he wasn't making more kilometers, but
was showing a real hospitality. The whole way cost me 160.000 lei ($5). Along
with it we agreed he would bring me directly to Petea, because I had to take
some kind of transport to there anyway.
I waited for some time at the entrance to the Petea checkpoint and found a guy
who was doing a usual border area business. With his car, he was taking people
through the border, taking various stuff with him, like cigarettes. Hungarian
from Satu Mare. The rules don't allow bringing more than one pack of cigarettes
for one person, so first he asked me if I had any tobacco products and if my
passport was ok. In the car with him there were three Romanians who were going
to some season work related to constructions or something near Debrecen. All
of them were over 50, but quite hale. During all the way I met only interesting
fellows, neither these were bores. One immediately started remembering names
of Ukrainian football players, when he found out I was from Ukraine. Compliments
on my Romanian, etc, as usual. By the way, the guys were speaking Hungarian
very well, and one with football said his wife was Hungarian by origin, but
he couldn't bear with her.
Passing the border wasn't really difficult, despite even of my exotic for those
places passport. The Romanian border policeman asked were I entered the country,
like it wasn't written there. The Hungarian just pressed some buttons on his
computer and without asking any question stamped the visa in. We were in
Csengersima (pronounced Chengershima).
First of all in Hungary the agriculture striked my eye. After atipic even
for Romania bad shape of the land in the Satu Mare area, what I saw in Hungary
was a real agricultural heaven. Instead of last year's corn that was sticking
up sadly, I was saluted by freshly plowed fields, on ones of them tractors
were still working. On the orchards from near the road there were pretty young
trees, each enclosed with nettings. Also in Hungary there are some strange
trees everywhere. Apple-trees, as far as I understood. They're not tall, and
their branches are bent to the ground. Like a medusa. It's strange I hadn't
seen them anywhere else. But there are lots of them in Hungary.
We were thinking where it was better to me to go, and whether I should go
to Nyiregyhaza. Finally we decided that we go to Mateszalka, which was situated
much closer. From there I was supposed to go by train to Zahony - a locality
only several kms away from the Ukrianian border. Also, I couldn't get a clue
with the Hungarian phonetics. Like, the name of the town of Mateszalka. I know
something about the Hungarian pronunciation: "sz" is pronounced like "s",
"s" - "sh", "cs" - "ch", "gy" - "dih". However, it's not pronounced Matesalka.
The Hungarians say "Matisoko".
Going through the province, among nice villages, one more thing looked strange
to me. Here and there there were some interesting erections: of metal color,
on a long foot and with a big shere on the top. There were very hight. Maybe
something with water. No photos, unfortunatelly.
I couldn't stand it anymore when we entered the town. The photographer's instinct
that I'd been having since the very moment I bought my first digicam,
made me take out the camera and take a picture of the Stefan's monument
from the car. What is funny, the most famous monarch both in Romania and
Hungary is called the same. Though they were different persons who definitely
had different views on the belonging of some lands. In Romania the guy's name
is Stefan the Great and Saint, the Hungarians though have Stefan who was only
Saint. Probably, unlike the Romanian colleague he didn't have problems with
his height, thus there was no need for the "Great" word in his name.
At the railway station we bought me a ticket and said goodbye. I had one
more hour in my disposition. Waking up that early as in that day were not
a common practice in my life, thus in order to function well I needed coffee.
Any kind of coffee, even instant one, would be ok for me. The railway station
in Mateszalka looked very decent and new, and it also had a bar. To be frank,
I hadn't had experience of communication with people whose language I didn't
know at all. Well, not quite. I did know one word which was "igen",
meaning "yes". As far as I know "no" in Hungarian is "yo". Chances that
the first person to meet would speak English, Russian, Romanian or Ukrainian
were very small. Thus, I entered the cafe and said "coffee". The lady at
the counter asked "kavi?", and my vocabulary extended to two words. Also
I apologized (in Russian) and said I didn't know Hungarian. I even didn't try
to talk English, because my first experience in Romania shown that it is
possible to comment your gestures in any language with the same result.
Once having exited from a shop, in which I had tried to talk in English with
the shop-woman, I realized that I could point out at goods speaking Swahili
Having had a coffee, I went to see and to take some pictures of the town,
which looked really very nice. Small and not wide streets, very clean
and even, with good asphalt and freshly painted. A lot of flowers and
monuments. Bicycles are very popular. Entrances of some shops are full of
two-wheels friends for sale. Near some buildings there are special
"parkings" - things with cells for the front wheel, so that a bicycle
is held well there. The full set of illustrations can be
Magyar Allamvasutak Rt. (or just railways)
That's how the leave time came. During the several hours while I was in
Hungary I get used to the thought that the local time was one hour (forward)
different from Romanian. I decided not to change my watch, but just took that
in account. So, the watch on my hand was showing 12:50, the time to leave
for Zahony. By the way, the ticket prices gladden me a lot. The way from
Mateszalka to Zahony cost 436 forints, which meant $2. Before leaving I was
observing an intersting thing in the railway station: an old man of about 60
years old, dressed with black jeans, rocker shirt of leather with a diagonal
zipper, and with absolutely while hair combed backward.
In the trains there were special coaches for those who smoke. They had
ashtrays integrated into arms of the chairs. While going by train about an
hour and something, I felt like sleeping and even slept a bit. Since it was
Saturday, almost all the time my coach was empty. Sometimes people entered
to go several stations. My route was the longest. I looked outside through
the window. Among my observations there was a typical East European
problem - trash near the railway. You can see such stuff almost in any
country in the region: Ukraine, Romania, Hungary.. Also, there were quite
a lot of Soviet cars, especially "Lada".
Zahony is the Hungarian part of the Chop (Csop) border checkpoint, a major
railway crossroad. A lot of goods and passengers go through it from and to
the former USSR. Right after the Tisa river Ukrainian territory begins. Just
in case I asked the lady at the tickets office if she spoke Russian or English,
and then with gestures explained her that I needed to get to Chop. To go
5 kilometers through the state border costs two times more than 60 kms through
the territory of the country, e.g. 980 forints. Again I had to wait several
hours, and I took a walk through Zahony. Right beyong the railway station
I found a monument of Soviet soldiers (photo on the right). When I got in
the train the Hungarian border police came. They even didn't go with us to
the border, instead they just stamped visas and left the train. Just how
it should be, since visas are just a formality, routine. Unlike the Ukrainians
who arrange an interrogation every time asking various questions. Of course,
noone checked my luggage either.
Another thing I remember is that I tried to ask someone of the railway
workers in Zahony when my train would come. One of the guys thought some time,
and then said in Russian with a very good pronunciation: "dva chasa sorok minut" (at
two and fourty o'clock). Sure, he didn't speak it fluently, and that way
all he remembered from school, but it was really nice of him.
The border area rised strange feelings. It looked like the nature slowly,
but confidently was devouring it. Desolation, some half-destroyed lodges
all along the railway. A lot of verdure and birds singing. To their tunes
Ukrainian border policemen entered the coach. One of them picked my passport
where the photograph was peeling off. Of course, I said they probably should
had addressed the authorities who issued it. Then asked to which countries
I had been to. Maybe the two years old Israeli visa made them courious.
Then there was a question why I was entering Ukraine from another point
than the one I left it through. I already wanted to say something unpolite.
Hardly kept myself from doing it.
The first association to came to my mind when I hear this name is the
same called operator in the Perl programming language. It's used to
strip the last character in text strings. Of course, the locality and the
operator don't have anything in common. A train to Lviv was in a half an
hour. This meant that the same day in the evening I would be in the
destination point. Arrival at 23:09. From the public phones I phoned my
friends to tell him the exact time of my arrival. The phones had disks
and also a button which you had to hold so that the remote heared you.
About 20 minutes passed till I realized that. I also realized why the disks
were loose: people got angry trying to figure out why they couldn't talk
and kicked the phones. Frankly speaking, I coudln't stand it too and punched
The coaches to Lviv were attached to a train going from Uzhgorod.
The lady at the tickets office told me it was a very decent train. The seats
were upholstered with red cloth, very nice and clean, obviously very new.
I bought an issue of the Zagranitsa
(Abroad) news-paper from the conductor. The news-paper was found by Inna
Bogoslovskaya, a deputee from Kharkov who candidated from our district.
Moreover, there was a time we worked on the same floor with their editorial
office, and I knew their editor-in-chief whose name Kedrovsky, a big killer
man with a beard :) In sign of friendship they used to gave us latest issues
of the news-paper as presents and cadged cigarettes. Nowdays, following the
recent trends in our state, the news-paper moved to Kiev and changed its
editor-in-chief. What a pity.
In the compartment nearby some fellows were drinking vodka (not very loudly
and quite decently). When the "Ivanushki International" pop band started
playing in all the train on the radio I realized I was at home. However,
some time after I understood that the machinist was going to kill us with
their music repeating the tracks on and on again. Forunatelly, I found
the volume wheel above the table and set it to minimum.
So, I was in train, being glad that I saw something new that day and
also got used a little with hitch-hiking in Romania. In Mukachevo in my
compartment entered a women with her daughter Julia, who was very beautiful,
studied economics and worked at a boutique selling clothes. She was 20 years
old. They were going to Lviv too, to visit their relatives on holidays. That's
how I also had a pleasant company all the way.
Lviv (Lvov, Lwow)
And here is the famous Lviv railway station. About this building I heard
a lot from my dad. Being a student at the fine arts university in Kharkov,
where now he's a teacher of painting, they were sent to sketchings all over
the former USSR. Lviv made a good impression on him then. Here is the railway
station on your right, on a picture taken in daylight. Really, the building
itself is very interesting. Though it lackes some communist revolution
pictures like the ones from Kharkov :) and has Ukrainian flags hanging all
around. Soon my friends who were late a little, appeared. I said goodbye to
the girls and left.
In the bus I felt the first feature of the city with.. my own ass. Such
a massage, when you're going on the cube. A good few of the streets in Lviv
are made of it. The way lasted about 40 minutes. During this time I was
looking in the window at saluting me views of a city unknown to me before.
It was eleven and something PM, thus the views were a bit dark. Nevertheless,
in the lights of street lamps it was possible to see outlines of buildings,
avenues and lanes. Having passed near a church were the Pope made a speech
during his visit to Lviv, we got off. The district, a bedroom community was
called Sykhiv, looks very similar to Saltovka in Kharkov, if someone knows.
Here in one of high blocks my friends live, their names are Lyubomir (we
worked together at Websci in Iasi), and his wife Yustyna.
To my great pity, my friends are believers, so they refused to drink to
my coming, because the next day it was the Easter. Moreover, they even
didn't eat anything. That's why I had to fill my stomack alone. After that
I went to bed.
The next day from the morning and till afternoon there was not a lot of fun.
It started with attending a church, where I saw a service with accoustics,
due to which I couldn't hear a word. Someone was praying, having kneeled in
front of icons. An old woman foolishly set fire on candles support and then
was blowing at it rising smoke. Somehow then she managed to extinguish it,
and myself I could hardly keep myself of laughing out loudly. When I realized
that the church atmosphere didn't give me much vivacity, I agreed with the guys
that we would meet at the end of the service and went out to walk through
the streets nearby. There was a veterinary university, and labyrinths of
lanes, narrow, cubed and with old Austro-Hungarian styled houses, just like
in Brasov. In majority the streets were empty,
for the population either was at services or was enjoying their morning
An interesting fact. Leafing over an old Soviet atlas we found out that in
Romania existed the city of Stalin. Just after the war Brasov was renamed this
way. Actually, it didn't last long and after the cult of personality exposure
in USSR by Khruschev was renamed back.
The Lychakivske Cemetery
Of course I was told a lot about cemeteries in Lviv, old, with monuments
and crypts. But I was really surprised when our company, having extended a
little because of my friends' relatives, went directly to the cemetery on
the first day of my visit. Soon I realized that people go there not only in
order to cry or clean graves of their late dears. A lot of visitors were like
was, walking up and down the cemetery like in a usual park. Apart of it, on
the entrance there were buses which brought several tourist groups from
Poland. We saw them soon, they surrounded their guide and were listening
to him. To my really bad pity I didn't yet have a place to download photos
from the digicam, thus I coudln't gather any material there. On the cemetery
there was the famous burrial place of the Polish lycee pupils who died in 1920
during fights with the soldiers of the Ukrainian Galichina army. Their remains
were burried nearby. We took a look at the graves: rows or similar crosses
made of concrete. Inscriptions of them said that the dided ones were 16-18
years old. In rest, the look of the cemetery was terrific. Such reach and
various architecture I haven't seen since a long time.
The Shevchenko Garden
Probably one of the best parks I had ever seen. The Shevchenko garden is
an immense green tract in Lviv. The presence of traditional village houses
brought from all over the region, churches of wood and other buildings
reminded me of "village museums" practiced widely in Romania. On the Easter
there were a lot of fun, people dressed in a traditional way were playing
various games. Even the rain couldn't be an obstacle for me to enjoy
beer outdoors. In Romania it's restricted to drink beer in the street, thus
drinking it from a bottle you should be attentive every time if there are
no policemen somewhere near. I have already had some experience with them
regarding this matter.
The 2nd Day
The next day after the Easter we spent visiting my friends' relatives
and eating various tasty stuff they put on the table. Mixed with
Eater toastes we drank to my birthday. Then I got full and was relaxing
watching Russian and Ukrainian TV which I hadn't seen for about three
months. Saw a clip of a new pop band called "Reflex". New, because
the last time I was in Ukraine I hadn't heard of them. The clip is called
"Padali zvezdy" (Stars were falling), and it looked like it was filmed in
Thailand. In the clip, two beautiful girls with nice shapes and one guy
were dancing on a sea-shore. Probably the guy was deaf. Or even deaf-mute.
Because he was not singing and also he was dancing kinda weird.
I heard a lot of problems with water in appartments in Lviv, but having
visited some of them, I could observe the grade of lvivites' suitability
a weird thing such as water-supply with a schedule. There is water only
in the morning from 6 to 9 and in the evening within the same interval.
So that to have a possibility to wash hands anytime, you must store the water
somewhere. You're lucky if you've got a tank connected directly to the tap,
like Lyubomir and Yustyna have. But if you haven't, the water is put into
basins and buckets, and the hands washing procedure looks the following way.
First, you block the drain in the sink and put some water there. The hands
are washed in it with a soap. After that the water is draianged and if you
wish, you take more water and with scoop flow it to each of your hands.
I strongly recommend to remember this hint, for it can be useful to know
in case if one day you don't have water.
The Old Lviv
After the holidays my friends had to back to work, and myself I walked up
and down the city admiring the city architecture. In the downtown on almost
every step you can see plates on buildings saying "architecture monument".
Everything is situated aroung the Market square, where you can find the city
administration building too. There are dozens of beautiful small streets and
lanes around, through some of them a narrow-gauged tram goes. From this very
moment the illustrated tale begins, because that day I finally found a place
where I could download photos from the flash-card. The place was called
"Euro-photo", a shope on the Shevchenko avenue, where for some money on
regular basis they provided me with a service of writing the flash-card
contents to a CD. The bad thing about it was that I had to have the very
CD with me all the time. Another good feature of the photo shop were
two girls who worked there. Like it's practiced in serious companies, one
of the girls was blonde and another one was brunette. Judging from my own
tastes, gentlemen prefer brunettes, of course. I say that since thanks to their
efforts you can virtually adore views of Lviv
various inscriptions. Take your time
and have the pleasure to see them, for it's better to see once than to
hear a thousand of times.
Towers, churches, chapels, monuments and statues. You can walk and look
at all the beauty very long. And it looks very nice. Walking along Lviv,
sometimes it's recommended to take a look upside: on some buildings there
are various chimeras and other interesting stuff. The only thing which really
lacks in the centre is guide signs, like "there is A street to the
right, B street to the left, and if you go forward you'll stike your head
against the sign".
In conditions of the lack of signs I had to ask people how to get to various
places. First I thought it would be nicer to ask them in Ukrainian. Fortunatelly,
I learned it 8 years at school and could speak it well enough. Despite I
speak Russian to my friends, while they answer me in Ukrainian :) The point
is that their Russian is just like my Ukrainian - we both know them quite well,
but why make more efforts if everything is understood anyway. So, during
the first time I was asking passing by people in Ukrainian. However, after
several times I heard replies in Russian, I realized that something was wrong.
Either it was written explicitely "Russian" on my forehead, or Ukrainian
wasn't mother tongue for all the Lviv citizens. Actually, the both reasons are
true. Then I decided not to exert myself, and everyone in spite of which of
the two languages was more mother tongue to them, were answering me in good
Russian. So it looked like that Russian is more tolerated in Lviv than
our mass media pictured it.
The national topic is mostly shown on the fences and walls of buildings in
the city. No matter what material they're made of, whether it's wood, concrete
or bricks, they represent a universal tribune for people of any policial views.
Just in case, I took pictures of two opposite opinions expressed in such a
way. To your right there is a "Russians must die" inscription. Another picture
says "UNSO are homosexuals" (UNSO is a small radical right-winged party in
On the whole, the population is quite sane. I haven't seen any mad nationalist,
neither I had any problem related to language or ethnic origin. Noone
pretended not to undesterstand Russian. So I liked the people. Here we state
that our stereotypes in Eastern Ukraine are exaggerated. Also I heard the same
opinion from a friend in February in Kharkov. Like, they were going with
her relatives in a car with Russian number plate. They thought noone would
speak with them, and were surprised when some locals explained them how to
get to places they asked about very friendly and in good Russian.
It's also a lie about the restricted Russian music. I could hear sounds of
Russian pop music from almost all the cafes. How would you make a difference
between various tunes by the language criteria after all? For example, if
Taisia Polvaliy sings in Ukrainian, you can set it at a cafe? What if the
same artist sings in Russian, does it mean you don't have a right to listen
to her in public places? What would you propose to do with bands from Kiev
that sing in Russian, like "Green Gray" or "Karamazin brothers"? The idea
is too stupid initially.
The "Vysokyi Zamok" (translated as the High castle) is one of symbols of
Lviv. I was looking forward to seeing a place with such a romantic
name. It turned out to be a high place, probably the higher hill in the city.
There are a sight area for tourists a television antenna nearby on it.
I could also find no castle. It took about 30 minutes to get there, since we
had to go through all the round paths and stairs. The prize for our efforts
was a great view on all the places of interest in the city. Unfortunatelly,
my digicam was ran down then.
Rukh Member Since 1988
I was so glad to have a possibility to drink beer while walking along
the streets, and I drank about 2 liters of it each day of my stay. Once
I was sitting near the Shevchenko monument (I realized that I have a big
advantage to him, because I was in Lviv and he didn't, despite there is
a monument of him ;). So I was sitting there, and an old man came,
he looked like a one who gathered bottles in order to take them back
to a shop and get some money. He was speaking something about gipsies,
and that it was a lot of them who was begging through the streets and
parks of Lviv turning it into Bangladesh. In fact, there was a family
of not washed gipsies who were going from a passer by to anther with
a stretched arm with no emotions on their faces.
The old man sit near me and started to talk. He was glad that there were
guests from Kharkov in their city, introduced himself - Myr (Myroslav).
Said he had met kievites not so long ago, who came to see Lviv too. Then
he shown a certificate of a nationalist party Rukh member and singed
the march of the "Galitchina" SS division which he knew by heart. I didn't
memorize the words exactly, but the sense was the following. Someone is
in prison, dreaming of a green garden, seeing Kiev as a capital. During
this time, as the song said, Moscow collapsed. For some reason he told me
his own vision of the history of Russia. Like, there was neither Russian
language nor Russians before Peter the Great who organized "Turk tribes"
tere and made out the Russian language, having took some words from
Ukrainian and Polish. Actually, Ukrainians invented everything. The old
guy was born in 1931, and joined Rukh in 1988, "when it was dangerous yet".
All his life he worked at a factory assembling television tubes. I decided
not to object him. He was not of age when it's possible to change opinion.
What it would had given me after all? Judging from the year when his
certificate was issued, Myr entered politics having 57 years. We know well
what kind of problems men experience at that age. So if having lost the
sexual function he found pleasure in hating Russians, just let him have
a good time with it.
Nevertheless, talking with Myr I mentioned that I am Russian and my
parents had been born in Russia too. Then he looked into my eyes attentively
and then concluded solemnly that I had a part of Aryan blood. The advantage
of the Ukrainians which Hitler wanted to take for his own. Such a historical
absurdity. Actually I still cannot get it. Why it's necessary for any kind
of nationalist movement to consider theirselves as a part of the Aryan race?
Any ultra-right do, just take a look at UNSO or RNE. I won't be surprised if
one day in a propaganda papers of Mongol, Rwandian or Eskimo nationalists
I will see a statement that the respective nation is 100% Aryan. How come
it's not possible without it at all?
Another funny thing happened the next day after we talked with the old guy.
I was drinking beer in some other place and another bottle-collector-looking
guy sat near me (there is definitely something written on my forehead). He
shown himself very quickly, when started to tell about a Pakistani to whom
he (sorry for my French) had given head. I admitted sincerely that if was
really cognitive, but not interesting for me at all. The conversation then
was over. Actually the situation about kinks in Lviv. Like in any big city.
Several times we saw a very ugly looking woman who was running after young
guy trying to grasp them by various intim places. First they were soldiers
on a pedestrian crossing, and the second time we saw her she was nagging
with some guys in one of the lanes in the city center.
We had also been to a concert of the "Dudarik" man chorus. I could hardly
stand it for two hours. I mean, maybe it was nice, but I couldn't appreciate
their singing. All I wanted is to get out as soon as possible. We went there
because of my friend's wife who invited all of us there. She comes from a
very intelligent family of musicians. Neither myself I am a miner or a factory
worked, but that culture level was definitely too high for me :) There was
a concert of the "VIA Gra" female pop band in the city, and it would had been
cool to see them. The cost of the tickets was from 40 griven (about 8$) which
was quite ok. Unfortunatelly we didn't go there. At the other hand, I was
very glad to find several video clips of them recently. I recommend you to
see them too. Just go to
Don't be afraid it's in Russian, just click on one of the items in the bottom
of the page (there are two lists, the one from the top contains MP3s and in
the bottom there are clips in AVI format).
The day I was leaving coincided with the day of Lviv. During my stay I heard
it several times that the locals called Lviv the second London because of
rainy weather. Of course, I proposed to fix the unfairness and instead start
calling London the second Lviv. But that day the London weather showed itself
to its utmost. We were on the top of the city hall tower when it began. First,
thunder clouds started to gather above the city. Shortly it began and we had to
leave the sight ground. In the center it was a usual thunder, but it wasn't
the same in other districts. In Sykhiv it was a real hurricane with hail,
whose consequences were quickly photographed by
a photo reporter of the "Vysokiy Zamok" (The High Castle) news-paper and
also by Lyubomir.
The way back to Romania was not difficult. The route was already familiar,
I was also good at hitch-hiking. I took a train on Saturday in the evening,
and on Sunday morning I was already in Chop. The border area business was
very active, as usual, thus I hadn't had to wait my train for long. There
were a lot of drivers who was bringing people through the Hungarian border.
Going 5 kms to Zahony by train definitely wasn't worth waiting 3 hours. In
the same car with me there was a woman from Transcarpathia, who lived in
Nyiregyhaza, Hungarian by half. She surprised me a lot with her tale. Her
point was that she didn't like the Hungarians, and also that they "are virus
and not a nation". She said that people there don't have mutual aid, noone
makes a place to a old women in transport, and would never help a woman
to carry bags. She also said that relations between people are not sincere,
mostly depending on how much a person avails to another. In families, there is
a separate budget. She gave an example, like a husband came home and talked
to his wife: "Darling, I was in a shop and bought us food for 1000 forints.
You should give me 500". As a conclusion, the woman who was going with me
in the car stated that there are were better people than Slavs (Ukrainians
and Russians in particular).
As to me, I don't have a personal experience of communication with Hungarians,
so it's difficult for me to comment something here. Nevertheless, Hungary
made a very good impression on me. Also, people were very communicative and
nice. For example, there was a middle-aged guy going with me in the came
coach in the train. He wanted to tell me something, and I apologized I didn't
speak Hungarian. After that he was trying to keep up a small talk explaining
something by gestures. And in the town of Csenger near the border with Romania
an old lady who was sitting on a bench near a monument I came to take a closer
look at, tried to talk to me. She first thought I was Romanian, because I
mentioned the Satu Mare locality name.
I arrived to Satu Mare with a car with one more guy. He was a Romanian from
Cluj, and the fact he could speak a little Russian really surprised me.
Then I walked along Satu Mare and caught a car to Baia Mare. In the evening
on Sunday I was already at home, listening the last album of "Okean Elzy"
rock band, called "Supersymmetria" which I brought with me from Lviv.
Here I finish the report about the trip which finished more than two weeks
ago. This time the report is really huge, but I still hope someone will
read it till the end without falling asleep or something :)