Also, about my expeditions. Sometimes I have some time to kill but I don't quite feel like going anywhere in particular. On those days, I'll take the Metro to a random stop, then try to find my way to another stop a ways away. It's fun piecing together parts of this city that way. Honestly, I don't know which direction I'm going usually, but I figure if I stay around the center of Kiev, I'm BOUND to run into another Metro at some point. When I really need to, I ask a random Babushka (old lady), "Izvinitye (Excuse me), Gdye Metro? (Where's the Metro?)"
Yesterday, this one lady totally made my day, she was SO happy. When I stopped her in her walk (to ask for directions), she was looking up at the buildings around her and just smiling.. SMILING :) People around here don't typically smile unless they're with their family or good friends. On the street, it's basically an anomaly to see anyone really smiling about seemingly nothing at all. But she was, and when I said, "Izvinite," to see if she would stop and help, she said, "Zdrasvite!" to me and kept walking. I think she thought I was just saying a happy greeting, but then she realized that I was needing help with something, and she stopped and turned back to me. I asked, "Gdye Metro? Do you know?" She preceded to explain to me with a ton of Russian words (some I even understood!) and hand gestures to explain to me where the metro was. She seemed to be conversing with me, asking me questions or something. I just told her, "Ya ni punimayu.. (I don't understand) ..Ya Americanka," and hoped that would suffice. After talking a while longer, she spoke in English, "You understand?". I said, "Toot-toot" (a little) then I ended the conversation with, "Spaciba, Paka!" Looking back, I probably should have said, "Do svidania" (A more formal goodbye), but I think she understood. Anyways, after talking to her, I just kept smiling. My whole day was definitely worth it for even that one moment conversing with the smiley babushka :)