Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 27 - Post Office, Doughnuts, and Bums

Today was one of my first days being completely on my own in Kyiv. But honestly, it was kind of nice! I had to go to the post office to send some letters and a box. There were some people filming in the post office for some reason. It seemed to be a silent film or something, because all they did was record this guy putting stuff in a box then later him weighing it, then later him paying for the package to be sent. Otherwise, my time waiting there went really slow. The only other real exciting event was when I asked a lady if she had a pen I could borrow. I spent about five minutes trying to recall the Russian word for "pen" (ruchka), which at the moment, I couldn't remember for the life of me. I finally figured I'd just ask in English and try to pantomime what I needed. Turns out the lady I asked could in fact speak some English; she was so nice though, she let me borrow her pen and asked if I needed other help.

On the way home, I decided I should probably get something of a present for my host-family for Valentine's Day. I was thinking chocolate or a cute little card or something, but I saw a doughnut stand and thought, "Sure, that works!" So I got half-a-dozen doughnuts. It was a challenge to carry the box right-side up while not getting it squished on the metro, but I managed to get off the metro and up the escalator with the doughnuts and box all still intact. There was this bum sitting with a sign at the bottom of the stairs. I passed him and went up the stairs out to the street. About half-way up those stairs I had this idea that it might be nice to have given him one of the extra doughnuts, sort of as a Valentine's Day gift; but I didn't. I reasoned that I was too far and it would just be awkward to turn around and go give him one. But I promised myself that if that old babushka was sitting at her spot on the street near my house, I would give her a doughnut. I was secretly really hoping that she wouldn't be there because then I could fulfill the promise to myself and still not have to go through with my awkward action. I made it to the street and looked down the sidewalk; there she was, sitting right on that staircase (where she always sits). My heart beat faster and faster as I took the sidewalk toward her. I knew I had to do it, or I'd forever hold myself guilty for passing up the opportunity. She looked right at me, and then I knew I couldn't turn back. I didn't understand what she was saying, but I pointed at my box of doughnuts and asked "Would you like one?" She replied, "Blah blah blah blah blah, Da Da!" I took that as a yes. I opened the box and let her pick. She said some more stuff I didn't understand. I just said, "Pajalusta, Happy Valentine's!" and took my box of doughnuts the rest of the way home. 

I couldn't stop smiling at myself on the way home; it was SUCH an awesome feeling! I totally recommend it sometime, being awkward and giving gifts to strangers; haha it'll totally make your day :) 

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