Archive for March 18th, 2007

Homeless, Drunk and Fighting

Saturday morning began with Heather and I getting out of a bed a bit late. We ventured over to one of the many little stores (продукти – pronounced pro-dook-teh) that are in our neighborhood to get some fresh pastries for breakfast. From there I took Heather down for her first tour of the center.

Kid Skateboarding After walking around for a bit we spotted these kids ripping it up on their skateboards at Ivan Franko park near the center. This park is actually halfway between my apartment and the center. Unlike, for instance San Francisco, the cops don’t seem to care about these guys being out here. This little guy was tearing it up.

My Dream Car We walked down an alley in between bigger streets and caught glimpse of this sweet ride. The license plate is odd because it does’t have the UA (Ukraine) flag on it. Further, I can’t understand at all the paper over the broken windows?

Kid on toy car Eventually we met up with Yuriy in front of the opera. In the large open area in front of the opera house they rent these little big wheel things for kids to ride on. This picture, to me at least, captures a lot of what I find interesting about this city’s people.

After meeting up with Yuriy and grabbing some lunch we headed over to my favorite mall at the end of the tram line. We shopped around and got numerous translations from Yuriy and his wife bringing further understanding to what we were looking at at the grocery store. This was tremendously helpful. I’m not sure anyone (including Yuriy) will ever understand exactly how helpful he has been. It’s literally the difference between surviving on the bare minimum and living a decent ~4 months of our lives.

After shopping we went our separate ways. Heather and I took the tram home and Yuriy took a bus toward his place. We boarded the tram near the back, there were, surprisingly, a ton of open seats. Unfortunately, this tram smelled like vomit. I’d like you readers to pause for a moment and imagine getting on a tram and smelling vomit.

Ok. We sat in the middle of the tram (these are roughly the same size as the muni lightrail things) because the vomit smell seemed less pungent there. A few more folks got on the tram and the lady that takes the money was adamant about not letting anyone be near the rear of the tram. I guess rather than clean up the vomit keeping people away from it is ok?

After the tram started moving she opened a window near the back. This seemed to make things worse, the vomit smell was now being blown toward the front of the tram.

At the second tram stop the money-taker walked to the back of the tram and began smacking around and yelling at what I’m guessing was a homeless man. There was no vomit on the tram; just a man that hadn’t bathed… recently. This woman was smacking this guy around apparently telling him to get off the tram. He didn’t budge. Can you imagine smelling so bad that you stink up an entire tram? This guy had something to be proud of.

Two stops later, my stop, the woman had had enough. She threw him out of his seat onto the tram floor, stood behind him with her two arms under his and dragged him off the tram. I only wish I had my camera out.

I didn’t see him until now, but the stinky homeless man’s partner in crime apparently deboarded the tram at the same time. After the tram drove off I couldn’t help but keep watching these two men. As drunk as you should ever be, these two were, and they began fighting. It’s the sort of fighting you do around 3am when you’ve been drinking all. day. long. You know, your arm just doesn’t seem to move as fast as it normally does. And you still miss your target.

Ok I’ve never been that drunk before and I can’t normally stay awake past 10:00PM. But I can imagine.

This wasn’t quite as funny as the drunk guy singing Smoke on the Water while laying down on stage but it was close.

Today Heather and I took the helicopter out for a flight. The soccer field was being used for soccer so I picked out a much smaller area to fly around in. Despite the location’s small size I didn’t crash and Heather managed to score this cool video of me cruising around.

After that we went and walked around a bit more on the other side of town. I think I’ve written enough for today so I’ll just share these pictures with you in closing.

Fancy Apartments
Unfinished Overpass

1 comment March 18th, 2007


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