Uneven Surfaces


Our city is built on the hills that rise up on each side of the River. Bushes and vines abound in the rocky hills and hollows. In many ways it is a modern and progressive city. It contains over one million people, almost one-third the population of the whole country.

You can find almost everything you want or need but you won't be able to read the labels. Shampoo, detergent, bread and water all sport labels in Russian, Ukrainian, German and Spanish, as well as the local language. Eggs come ten to a carton. To buy meat, you must tell the attendant how many kilos you want, pointing to a certain tray, and then someone measures and packages it for you. Cuts of meat are hard to identify and roasts and large cuts are rare. There's less variety in fruits and vegetables than in the U. S. and milk is reconstituted milk powder with vegetable oil added.

Pay for your purchases and bag them yourself, then walk home over cracked and broken sidewalk tiles, weaving in and out of big black cars parked on the sidewalks. Avoid the rushing traffic by taking the under-street walkways and then run the gauntlet of street vendors and people asking for a few coins. Your apartment will have a drab exterior. Some of the walls might have cracks. You arrive at your apartment: a dark hallway, but you walk into a beautifully decorated interior. Sit down and have a glass of water. You're home!

© Beryl Carpenter 2013 - 2020