Wednesday, July 06, 2005

киіб уже

я не знаю как баша сомрютер роботает, but for me, that comes up in russian! and WHY?! coz i've made it back to ukraine and am currently in kiev awaiting my "connecting" train to slavyansk so that i can get the bus to nikolayevka and be there for диедушка vanya's birthday tomoz which is exciting coz i get to give him mach III razors and chemist glasses.

i tell ya, that damn ukrainian embassy must be halfway up the steepest hill in vienna (! and listen, my suitcase and i have already, after a LONG discussion, agreed on this fact so DON'T bother arguing, you'll only lose!) and hell, when i got there, there was about twenty uki's hugging the damn gates, and no, that is not a joke.

now, maybe i've just been lucky but, there has NEVER been that many people there before. not more than one or two. so i asked someone what was happening. "nothing," she said, "this is the embassy, nothing happens here." oh, how sadly true. in the next two hours they let in about eight people. and i wasn't one of them.

but, stay there for long enough, [and i don't mean INSIDE the grand gardens on the benches nicely arranged in a horseshoe formation, i mean outside on the street with their audi's listening to the rich neighbours playing tennis and the rest of the uki's sighing and pushing their way to the front of the queue], watch the suits all leave for lunch, wait for them to come back and THEN...

bring on the wailing!!! and, don't forget the waterworks and, amazingly, you get what you're after. it only too me about five or six hours and some manufactured tears and a non-existent "already paid for" train ticket to wail about and i was IN, mate. the funny slash scary part is, they lock the gates and then wont let you out when you're done. i think that's ukrainian humour.

oh hang on, i forgot a bit. they DO let you out, they send you to the bank to deposit the fee. and that's fun too coz the banks in austria close for lunch as well. and then re-open for an hour or two and close again at three. if you're lucky, and lucky i WAS, you get there when they're open. and then, if you're EXTRA lucky, they let you back in to the consulate ~ but not the rest of the wailing masses, unfortunately.

so, finally got me visa and, spanks to helmtraud [the one and only], got me a ticket that same night on a "DIRECT" [so they say] train to kiev ~ which really means that it goes via slovakia and takes approximately 33 hours and gets ya there at 5.26am...wicked. so i'm here. and there's now only about three and a half hours to kill til i get on the nikolayevka.

howz this for a farkin astronomical difference in price: the train to nikolayevka is a twelve hour trip and costs 37 hryvna, roughly equivalent to 10 australian dollars or 6.20 euro. BUT a ticket to budapest, which takes twice as long, costs 550 hryvna, or 147 aussie dollars slash 91 euros...fark! so, dad, you know how you said you'd lend me some more money if i needed it...

well, yeh, i might need it. but let's not worry bout that for now. how bout leavin it til the very last minute. yep, methinks that's a SUPER idea. okay, the heavies behind me are starting to put me off now so i'll be goin. am hopin to *maybe* be able to use sasha's internet in nikolayevka and find myself a cushy job before i get home but, yeh, we'll see how that goes.

in the meantime, enjoy being yourself [if that's who you are right now], coz it truly sucks when you wake up and you're someone else entirely and there's no back button and yeh, it's like when the wind changed..only much much worse and you might need a markus to drag you out but there's only ONE markus. don't worry too much tho, i hear he's heading to melbourne [via jaipur] pretty soon.

love n luck

Sunday, July 03, 2005

jiggedy jig - the revised edition

it's sunday afternoon and i've just been at mary wild's birthday brunch and i reckon, but not for that reason alone, that this week has been [at least CLOSE to] the most excellent one i've had the whole time i've been in austria.

but, tis true, i've never been much good at making comparisons.

when i was a kid i had a green notebook in which i recorded the title and author of every book i read. then i gave them a star rating. in the beginning, i rated them out of five. by the end of the book the stars filled pages because each new book always seemed better than the last.

but i think this week HAS been great because i've finally given up. not something i ever like doing but something i sort of felt i had to do here coz working in vienna with an aussie passport is almost impossible. and, since i've given up, i've felt more like myself than i have since birmingham not alabama and its wild ways.

and, as i've already reported to various transcontinental eavesdroppers, it feels SO damn good to feel like myself again. to be in a good mood is something i never appreciated so much before. and i thank all the posse i hung out with all week for dragging me out of the dumps and making me laugh my silly lookin head off.

so, tomorrow i leave for a last long look at ukraine ~ three weeks actually. then i'll be back in austria for a few weeks in august and in the latest breaking news, MEETING ECCLES IN AMSTERDAM FOR A WEEKEND!!! then...home again home again jiggedy jig. see ya there.