Postcards & Rafs

Friday, February 3, 2017

This morning Sasha and I promised ourselves today would be the last day to buy postcards. Kyiv has such a fabulous array of them at stores all over the city! We lounged around in the morning before getting out of the house. It’s a good thing we were in all morning, because the sidewalks were SO icy!!! They were literally sheer ice. People were slipping and falling left and right. I had never seen anything quite like it. I’m not sure how Sasha and I managed not to fall flat on our faces. It must’ve been the small baby steps and constant gripping at the balls of our feet.

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“Ice, ice baby”

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The snow was less slippery

We made our way to a bookstore and Podval (store with handmade Ukrainian gifts) for some final postcards before getting lunch at the Fat House. That’s the translation for this Ukrainian ‘fast food’ restaurant chain! We went to a different one a few days ago with Sasha’s mom. I got borscht, dumplings, and bread for $3! What a bargain. The U.S. needs to up their fast food game 🙂

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After lunch, we made our slippery way over to One Love Espresso Bar for a coffee and postcard writing session. Kyiv has the most amazing cafés out of all the cities I’ve been to in Europe! I have thoroughly enjoyed Rafs here too. They are coffee drinks (pretty unique to eastern Europe) consisting of an espresso with whipped cream and milk with sugar. They are surprisingly sweet and delicious. I’ve had them infused with lavender and citrus for an extra boost of flavor!

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We headed to the U.S. Embassy to pick up Sasha’s parents. Her dad drove us to a local high school to watch her sisters’ basketball game! It was so funny being at a high school. Sasha and I felt so out of place which is funny, because we were seniors just last year! Sasha’s dad cracked me up with his not so subtle cheering. It made the young freshmen in front of us turn around, give us looks, and ask why he was so loud. He replied, “Turn around. It’ll be more interesting” in his stern, colonel voice; that kept the kids facing forward. Sasha and I couldn’t stop laughing; it was hysterical.

The girls unfortunately lost their game by one point. A heartbreaker. They went to youth group while we went to a Georgian restaurant. I can’t tell you what typical Georgian cuisine is, but I can tell you that what I had was tasty! We shared balls made out of vegetable paste, dumplings, Georgian pizza, and tomatoes with pickled cabbage and pickles. For my main course, I had a pork dish with vegetables. It was comfort food! Sasha taught me how to say “thank you” (spes•ee•ba), and I think I’ve nailed the pronunciation.

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We finished the night with a trip to Roshen’s (the candy store), Napoleon cake in the Schmitt family kitchen, and an episode of “The Bachelor.” It was a full and fulfilling day in Kyiv. xo ~ e.

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