Archive for March 19th, 2007

My Take on the Subject :)

As everyone now knows, I made it Ukraine safely, and with all FOUR of my checked bags, which is a miracle in and of itself. Unfortunately I had two explosions in my suitcase, one with my shampoo and the other with lotion, but luckily both had been double bagged ☺ Thank goodness for my paranoia of traveling with such items.

Although I managed to snag an upgrade to economy plus on the flight to Frankfurt, all that was left was middle seats – which made it next to impossible to snuggle up to my pillow and sleep (next time definitely need Bob next to me so I have a shoulder to lean on). I did however get the emergency exit row, talk about legroom. I could completely extend my legs and still have several feet before the next row of seats (technically the stewardess seats, but she was really nice, so it was cool). The only bummer was being right next to the bathroom. And although I as really stuffed up the whole flight (bonus for not being able to smell the bathroom), I did get stepped on a lot. In general people were really nice when they were standing in line basically staring at me and my two row-mates, but a few definitely gave the evil eye when they saw how stretched out we were. Oh well, not our problem that they didn’t upgrade, right? ☺

The flight to Frankfurt had amazing winds or something, because we were almost 45 minutes early upon arrival. So early that we had to taxi to a different gate, because our scheduled gate wasn’t ready for us yet. Luckily the new gate was even closer to my layover in the second terminal. The walk to the tram took forever, but it was well marked, and once I found the skytram that Bob kept telling me about, it was smooth sailing. I’m almost a little bummed that I didn’t get to see the big plaza of gates that Bob had to find his way through, but really I have no problems living without :) I did, unfortunately, have a little trouble in the restroom figuring out how to open the stall doors (I’m chalking that one up to complete and total lack of sleep), once I actually got in the stall apparently I couldn’t figure out how to lock the door, because I got walked in on twice, doh.

I found my gate and checked in with the nice ladies at the counter (even though they did laugh at me when I had no idea how many kilos my baggage weighed, the first of many laughs to be sure). It was really great that my flight had arrived so early, because I only sat in the “waiting room” for my flight for about 20 minutes. Life definitely would have been interesting had my flight from the U.S. not been so early. We got on the funny looking bus and drove out to the airplane – this is so weird to me. Even stranger were the Volkswagens zipping by the bus and planes like it was business as usual. I kept expecting to see a little blue car like ours fly by. I had the whole row on the plane to myself, score, and got to watch out the window as at least two of my bags were put on the plane (hooray, at least I knew some of my stuff would in fact make it to the correct country).

The flight taxied forever before takeoff, and I do mean forever, I think I saw the entire airport from end to end. Other than that the flight was smooth sailing, I tried all of the interesting food they served, and felt proud of myself when the lady offered me “chai” and I knew it was hot tea ☺ Approaching L’viv was like a scene out of The Wizard of Oz, the houses in the “country” outside of the big city looked like little model houses for a train set. Then out of nowhere, with nothing surrounding it would be a gorgeous church – we definitely need to try to explore some of this. The landing was bumpy just as Bob had described, my seatbelt actually wasn’t fastened tight enough and I was bouncing around quite a bit in my seat.

I got off the plane, and am so thankful for the VIP service, and they’re attempt at spelling my last name was so comical. Thankfully Williamson is a nice long name, and I figured if I saw a really long name, with at least a ‘W’ in it, then I was good to go. I don’t remember exactly how it was spelled, but it was something like Mr. M. Wiiljemsans… or something, regardless it was me ☺

Wow, can’t believe I typed so much just about getting there. Bob was waiting for me, and after listening to a funny German pilot (or something similar I’m guessing from his uniform) vent about no credit cards in L’viv, all four of my bags were brought out, and my passport was stamped, wahoooo, I had in fact made it.

We got to out apartment, and it was almost exactly as I had imagined it. I took a shower and we went for a short walk around the neighborhood. At that point, all of my exhaustion finally caught up with me and with the fear of my legs completely giving out we went back to the apt and I got to take a much needed nap.

We went to a really yummy dinner, and as Bob had posted, I got my first taste of what it is like to be an English speaker in a country/city that is really not used to seeing ‘Western’ travelers/tourists. Regardless, the food was excellent, the beer tasted good, the ice cream tasted fabulous, albeit incredibly unhealthy, and I was so happy to finally be with my husband.

I really don’t know how the woman in this city walk to fast, so smoothly, and so coordinated on the cobblestone sidewalks and streets with their stiletto boots – I certainly will never master this trick. I decided to forgo what little blending in I could do, and toured the city with Bob with my comfy sneakers on. I figure, people are already looking at me funny, my feet and ankles might as well survive. I have definitely noticed that the woman here dress significantly different than they do in the states, and seriously, my respect for mastering the four inch heals is incredible. I have noticed that very few women wear glasses, so already I stand out so much, oh well.

We walked all over the place, yet I still never felt like I knew how to get back to the apartment. We went grocery shopping for some basics, because believe me we had nothing. As Bob posted we got a few of the basics, which was good. I never really realized how much I depended on so many things in my kitchen until I cooked dinner that night. Something as simple as spaghetti and tomato sauce used every pan we had, and wow, it’s so nice to have more than one wooden spoon back home. So many little things that I never imagined I would have missed.

Thursday and Friday were very mellow for me, mostly unpacked and tried to get used to everything here. Made our apartment feel a little more at home with the pictures and such I had brought. And it was nice to be able to devote some time to the many books I brought that I have wanted to read.

One of the nights we went to pizza near the house, it was mostly good, and Bob was so happy that the one girl he knows speaks English was working that night. She was so very helpful. I had my first of many ‘wow, I’m such an idiot’ moments, when I accidentally knocked over my mostly full beer glass, spilling much of it on Bob, and shattering the glass. Seriously, glad to know that my clumsiness followed me across the Atlantic. I guess some things never change ☺

Saturday was another successful day of sightseeing, and I now think that I can get to the tram, the grocery store, return trip on the tram, and all the way back to the apartment by myself – which is a huge relief. Thursday and Friday I was filled with so much anxiety about not being able to find home, I definitely felt locked in. I think I might even be able to find the city center all by myself too ☺

Already Bob and I have a list of things we want when we get home, mostly junk food of course, but man, to get a good burrito right now sounds so good. And to walk into the grocery store and know what words mean, and be able to find my way around, what a luxury. At least a lot of the food has a picture of what it is – i.e., in the frozen food section, when something that looks like a tortellini has beef filling, there is a small image of a cow on it, pork yields a pig, mushroom yields a mushroom – you get the idea. And oh my goodness, finding “GB” on the back with some English description/instructions is so exciting to me ☺

Ok, I think all of this is enough light reading for one blog!

2 comments March 19th, 2007


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