Trip Start Oct 11, 2011
22Trip End Oct 31, 2011
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The usual seven am alarm goes off, and for the first time i hit the snooze. Perhaps a combination of Chernobyl radiation, four liters of beer, walking around in the pouring rain for four days and the lack of sleep that a hostel offers, led me to feel like death itself. I put off pulling myself out of bed until one in the afternoon. After taking a handful of benylin and a shot of vodka i started thinking of the events of the previous night. After being dropped off by the tour bus at Independence Square, i walked slowly up and down the now six lane pedestrian walk. The street had everything to offer, political rallies, break dancers, musicians, and girls.....gorgeous gorgeous girls.
About seven o'clock, as the sun set, the lights of the streets lit up and suddenly the party started. Hopping into an English pub to start with a pint, i began to wonder why i hadn't hit up the pubs sooner. After crossing the street to watch another set of break dancers, i was suddenly tapped on the shoulder.
Pointing to the Canadian flag on my back pack, and laughing, in a Russian accent i was told, "I love Canada! I learn everything of Canada from South Park! Do you know South Park?"
I suddenly realized I had made a friend.
Sergei and his girlfriend Lola had just moved back after spending 6 years in Moscow. We started with 2L bottles of beer from the closest liquor store, ironically found in the downstairs of the Olympic apparel store.
After walking, and drinking, some more, we landed at McDonald's where i learned the most valuable lesson of drinking the Kiev: always drink near a McDonald's cause the bathroom is always clean and free. Therefore, McDonald's quickly became the fallback drinking location. It was through Sergei that I learned the meaning of berada.
"Why do you have this berada?" He asked, pointing to my beard. "In Canada it means you are traveling" I respond.
"OK, but in Ukraine, berada means...um...how you say...fool who does not know anythings"
And suddenly, i felt like a berada. As if it sunk in at that very moment that during my trip so far I had not seen a single person with a beard. Just as i began contemplating shaving it off as soon as i got home, i noticed a group of four pretty eighteen year olds looking and smiling in my direction.
"I think she likes you" Sergei said pointing at one, and in a voice far too loud for the circumstances.
As he said this, she walked over as spoke Ukrainian with him, all i understood from the conversation was, "....Canada...english...yes....yes....no...goodbye."
And with that i got one last smile and a quick kiss on the cheek and then she was gone out the door with her friends."Damn", I thought, "Why'd i promise everyone i was gonna be good on this trip..."