Monday, October 27, 2008

Ticket to Ride

I need to buy a train ticket to Kyiv as it is far cheaper than driving and furthermore I have no intention of EVER driving in Kyiv. Tanya and I drove to P’yatikhatki today to get my passport stamped for another three months and to buy my ticket for Saturday morning.

P’yatikhatki is a railroad town. It has a lovely little railway station with several other buildings (administration etc.) located on a well maintained landscaped yard. There are about 24 tracks in the rail yard where the station is located. The problem of course is that the station and related buildings are all in the middle i.e. there are 12 tracks on each side. Up 50 steps to a pedestrian walkway and then down to the station yard/platform. And of course the walkway is as far from the station as it is possible to put it. A brisk 15 minute walk from parking lot to station. Younger folks can do it in 10 minutes.

I will take the Saturday morning Express train to Kyiv, arriving at 12:30. Kostia, our taxi driver, will pick me up and we’ll drive to Boryspil Airport to collect Berny at 2:00 assuming he clears customs and immigration. One problem. The Express does not stop in P’yatikhatki.

BUT it stops for 20 minutes at a non-station about 5 km out of town for crew change, technical matters and to let another train go by. The platform serves as a stuffed toy market with several stalls serving customers who hop off the train, make their purchase and hop back on. Legally, it is not a “stop” so new passengers cannot get on nor existing passengers leave the train at that location. However this is Ukraine. Andrei will get me onto the train.

My ticket is from Dnipropetrovs'k to Kyiv and cost 96 hrivnas or about $22 CAD at today’s ATM exchange rate for a 5 hour train ride in a comfortable coach.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, Kostia. Because of him I know what it's like to poop my pants in a taxicab in the Ukraine. Thank him for me, will you?

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  2. hahahaha. Now that is a picture. Thanks Lyn.

    Good luck sneaking on the train Daddy. Are you going to take your hobo pack?

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  3. Seriously. Also, if I hadn't known that he was definitely not going to kill me, I would have thought he was going to kill me. Like I said before, Ukrainian men either look normal, gorgeous or like they're going to cut you. For reals.

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  4. May-b, I'm riding in the train, not under it.

    LynnieC, how many categories do Canadian men divide into> Seems to me Good, Bad and Ugle pretty much covers the territory in any country.

    And Kostia is a good man and a good driver.

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  5. If you're going to Kyiv will you be having the chicken?
    Sorry I just had to say it, blame it on Dana.

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  6. Heck, Demeur, we have a restaurant here in ZV that serves great Cutleta "Kyiv".

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  7. Kostia was great! And we didn't die, so if that's the sign of a good driver, then he's that too.

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