Let me backtrack real quick.
3 months ago during swearing in, Alison (my beautiful clustermate) decided that she was going to have an epic birthday party, regardless of where anyone in our cluster was. So as a loving friend, I made the commitment.
Now, I had no idea I was going to end up in Crimea and she would end up in the north pole. Seriozna- I'm not kidding. The girl lives not far from the russian boarder in a small train town known as "Kupyansk-Uzlovoi".
Now, the logistics were, I would get on a bus to Dzankoy, the nearest train hub to my town (there's a train station in my town that only goes to Western Destinations, so when I go east, I must take a train from Dzankoy). Then I would get on a train at midnight to Kupyansk.
So all in all I was on a train 15 hours up (plus two hours on a bus), and 10 hours down (plus 2 hours on a bus).
All so worth it though. I got to see most of my clustermates, and a bunch of PCV's that I haven't seen since swearing in. All in all, it looks like my clustermates are doing quite well for themselves.
I was jealous of Alison's huge apartment, with an ice skating rink right down the road. We got to ice skate for a bit right as I got off the train so that was nice.
I also got to eat my first Ukrainian BURRITO! Yes, those two words were just used in conjunction. I too was shocked when I first heard about it. Now don't get me wrong, the thing was damn delicious, and HUGE. But it was no burrito. It had some kind of Kurdish spices mixed in with huge fava-type-looking-beans. I was stoked though, I couldn't have asked for anything else after a long day on a train.
The next day, (Saturday) we went into Kharkov and walked around for most of the day. Kharkov is amazingly beautiful. In my opinion even rivaling Kiev for the prettiest city I've seen in Ukraine so far. It had a really nice atmosphere, and definite signs of once being part of the communist empire we all know as U.S.S.R. For example, a GINORMOUS statue of Lenin in the center of the city (pictures soon to come). Also, the little symbol of the scythe and the hand with the star were all over the metro stations.
It was like going to a different country all together for me. Crimea is a good 15 degrees warmer (yes I know you hate me if you're reading this all you north-easterners). Also, the people just looked different to me. I don't know if it was the dress, or what, but being in a big city is always shocking for me after being used to living in a small community.
Well, it's 9pm on Sunday and I'm absolutely dusted. It was a great weekend though, thanks for being born Alison- if not for you I would have probably slept for the last 72 hours instead of marathoning my face off.
Good night- love and miss you all back home- talk soon.