Friday, March 13, 2015

But I've been to Oklahoma

Hanging Volk's bedding out on the fence to air in the sun caused it to cloud up and rain starting noon yesterday so I put it back in his house.  It rained all night.  Tanya and I took the 7:00 am bus to Dnipropetrovsk this morning and it rained all day.  We got home at 6:00 pm and it is still raining. Winter crops look good.  Now we need heat.

I had not been outside Zhovti Vody since I got back from Canada last fall and had not been to Dnipro since a year ago when we picked up Tanya's UK visa to go to London to visit the Queen...of Sarcasm. (Actually her older sister is the Queen of Sarcasm; youngest is the Undisputed Empress of the Universe of Sarcasm).  Tanya has been to Dnipro and P'yatikhatki several times on business, related to renewing our house documents but I begged off.

No longer having a car has saved us a lot of money, even with taxis.  It cost us $2 USD to come back from the bus depot tonight.  Bus fare to Dnipro was 75 UAH, a bit over $3 USD.  Same price as when I moved here and it was only 16 UAH.  However instead of 18 passenger mini-buses running every 20 minutes, they use 36 and 48 passenger buses running every 30 minutes to one hour, depending on time of day.

There are fewer cars on the streets in Dnipro then when I was there last time.  Gasoline is 21 UAH/litre, less than a Dollar but cash is hard to come by.  Lots of SALE signs in all the stores on Karl Marx (the main drag). TGI Fridays/Il Patio restaurants have closed, so no steak or Jack Daniel's ribs for me.  We went to McDonald's and ate well for $10 or 220 UAH.  Used to be 85 UAH and still $10 a couple years ago.

How do the people of Ukraine survive? They have no FX to backstop them.

We went to Dnipro to pay for our 8 day trip to Barcelona and apply for Tanya's Schengen visa.  We leave April 25th, return May 2nd and will stay at a small resort hotel (breakfast and supper incl.) about one hour and a half from the city.  Cost $1100 USD.  We will buy day tours once we get there.  We looked at Italy (too expensive) and Portugal (another time). Now to do our homework and learn about the area.  There is a Dali gallery and a Picasso gallery on our list already.

This is cutting it a bit fine as my "new" Canadian passport expires Nov 12th 2015 and of course one needs six clear months on one's passport.  I had forgotten it was due to expire this year.  Where did five years go so fast?

Window display in a shoe store - needs caption

8 comments:

  1. Like father like daughter, forgetting about passport expiration dates...

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    1. I was thinking of you when I discovered how close I was to having a problem.

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  2. Have a good trip - wish I had land access to Europe.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  3. Shows how little I use my passport. I don't know what the 6 month rule is about. My passport expired last year, so I will have to get a new one to travel. Husband just got his new one for a trip to Canada. It is frustrating that we need one to travel there, when in the EU travelers are able to go from country to country without challenge..

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    1. No idea about the six month rule either but it is there. Not all travel between EU countries is visa free, just those in the Schengen Zone. And I am sure you have to have a passport to register at a hotel in European countries.

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  4. That photo is just begging for a caption, isn't it? But my mind is utterly boggled by the disconnect between the objects. The apples, legs, and boots made me think they were going for a "temptation" theme, but they blew that theory out of the water with the shopping cart full of straw. I guess it'll remain one of those great mysteries of life. Unless, of course, it's a window display for Bubba's One-Stop Grocery, Livestock, and Hooker Emporium. Then it's just good advertising.

    Hope you enjoy your trip!

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    1. A roll in the hay is one thing but in straw, I think would be quite itchy.

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