Kiev Sunday

November 20, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Sunday = day off. I was thinking of going on a tour to Chernobyl and the town of Pripyat, but the government is not allowing tours at this time. So, I went to Babi Yar instead. Babi Yar (or Babyn Yar) is a site just outside of the main city where thousands and thousands of people were massacred during World War II. Specifically in 1941. It’s actually a park now and conveniently it’s right near a subway stop. Here is a picture of the main entrance to the park. It’s a small memorial.

Today when I arrived, there were a group of people picking up trash. The park has Tons of trash in it. A ridiculous amount. A lady came up to me and if you pick up a piece of trash and put it in this bag, you will be happy. So she gave me a little glove and I did. The whole experience was pretty eerie.

I wandered around the park a bit and came to this building. I didn’t go in because there were some guys inside doing who knows what, but it had some interesting graffiti.

A little further on from the building is a memorial with a menorah, and a ravine, that I assume is the actual Babi Yar ravine. I went close to it and there were some flowers there.  It looks like the ravine pictured on the wikipedia article. Pretty strange to be there. It doesn’t look it from the pictures, but there were people around so I didn’t feel too scared.  Some of the people I saw were going to the bathroom however, I witnessed three different people peeing or pooping in the woods.

It just added to the feeling that this place is being not treated so well. But it was nice to see this trash – pickup initiative.

Here’s a picture of the menorah memorial that’s in between the building and the ravine. There’s also a memorial of a cross close by. Although there were many many Jews murdered here, there were so many other people murdered here too. 

It was pretty cold out so after walking a little more around the park, I hopped back on the subway. I was going to go to some synagogues to add to my self guided Jewish tour of Kiev, but I think that will wait to tomorrow. I was too cold to walk around outside anymore. Plus I have a meeting tomorrow right near a synagogue.

I went to lunch at a restaurant I thought would be great because it was very crowded when I checked it out the other day, but was pretty bad. One bad thing about the lunch experience was that the restaurant had a TV and it was playing a Nickleback music video marathon. Gross. Then they gave me some pork butter and fish butter and I didn’t like that very much either (it was almost as bad as the Nickleback music videos).

I also went on a walk today to check out the motherland statue that I thought was closer than it actually was.

Apparently this picture is from about four of five kilometers away from it. I had intended to go closer, but it was really cold. Plus I got a better view of it than the picture might suggest.

At dinner, I had Borscht. It was really good. I was surprised that I really like Borscht. Apparently there are many different kinds but this was the hot kind. I imagine it would be a really bad thing to spill on yourself, however.




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