Monday, February 1, 2016

We Missed the Sausage Fest

Hi all,

So by Saturday, I'm pretty sure that Will was going stir-crazy from the quarantine and being cooped up. So we decided to go to nearby Berehovo (about half-way for all of us) to go to a local meat festival. However, upon arrival and after hearing that PETA was protesting in int Kyiv we changed our minds. I changed their minds back once I mentioned that we could say: Did you ever think you end up at a sausage fest in Ukraine? Alas, the buses we departing back too soon for comfort, so it remains a lost opportunity...

However. Will did manage to drag Hugo and I to the local museum (the other volunteers couldn't make it due to disinterest or fear of plague), which turned out to be surprisingly entertaining. We managed to stumble in just after a city tour group - which apparently is a thing there? - came in, so we got to jump in on the tour. Of course it was in Ukrainian dialect, so I mostly zoned out to look at the art in the first room we came to:

No idea of what's going on here. But, fun!
Just under the painting you can glimpse the main exhibit of the museum - a long hallway with hundreds of photographs and sketches and collections of local coins. With about 1000 years of history (changing hands 5 times ranging from Ottoman Empire to finally Ukraine), there were plenty of pictures and the whole museum was dual Hungarian/Ukrainian. There were many significant pictures (including pictures of soldiers during war and societal events), but this was my favorite...

If there aren't horses...
(You can't take me anywhere, I guess...)
In addition, there were three side rooms with minerals from the area, archaeological finds, and other more recent historical artifacts. And in the office, they also had an interesting sideline:

Naughty ones not pictured!
 There's a local glass blower who makes beautiful decanters/ decorative elements that are then filled with local wines. They also had a rather risque section with more of an...anatomical flair.

After the museum we took a picture with Petofi - a famous Hungarian poet who I feel must have actually been a really tiny man - as all statues to him I've seen have him roughly the same size.


We wandered around the city looking for a place to lunch. We were approached several times by Roma children asking for money. They generally tag along for about 20 feet, telling you how they want to eat. Giving money seems to only encourage the behavior, but it's always a somewhat wrenching experience. I know there are organizations, and the kids should be in school, but it's hard to turn down the kids. It was less hard to turn down the second horde. We passed a mother with four children, who she literally sicced on us. They grabbed my purse, and then were hanging on to my arm. Two went after Hugo, and he literally had to extract his pinkies from them. It was rather extreme, and a very uncomfortable situation. I know there are quite a few organizations aimed at helping the Roma, and I felt bad that the kids were sent to beg by their mother, but it was very invasive. Not sure the best way to deal with it, honestly.

Anyhow, yesterday Lila had a blended church choir concert, which was really nice to go to. Very sociable, and the singing was lovely.


video

And, today I went to Uzhgorod - finally getting to meet the new volunteer there, who's lovely - and as we walked from the bus we discovered that large shop (called Ukraine, unfortunately), was in the midst being a roaring inferno.

video

Not pictured is the swarm of gawkers. The police station seemed content to contain it and then let it burn. The whole city was wrapped in a cloud of smoke it seemed.

Anyhow, on that warm note, I'm going to conclude this post.

Hope all is well,

Steph

P.S. Lila told me this joke (after asking me what the name for a chicken's man is...)

Why did the rooster close his eyes when he crowed?

To prove that he knew the words by heart!

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