Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kitchen smells

Right now my kitchen smells like my kitchen back in Ukraine- the smell of cooking beets and onions, garlic and potatoes.  Our farm box came this morning and contained beets and carrots and tomatoes, so I got the urge to make borscht.  It's been a long time since I made it- mostly because you cannot make borscht in small amounts, so you have to have enough people around to make the time and effort worthwhile. As it is, we are going to be eating borscht for the next century. 
My first roommate, another missionary, in our living room. Note the classy carpet on the wall decor. Very traditional

My Ukrainian roommate who taught me how to make borscht

Enjoying tea in the kitchen with friends. Notice the old radio on the wall over my friend Sasha's head. It's an old Soviet model that only plays one station, has no antenna and can only be turned on or off. It played music that the government chose. http://www.bellybuttonwindow.com/1997/russia/there_is_only_one_ra.html


There's something about this time of year that makes me think of my time in Ukraine. The memories seem to be especially strong when I'm walking out in the cold late autumn weather. I remember my mornings, bundled up in my warm coat and gloves, walking across town from my flat in the center of the city to the university a little way away.  I remember breathing the cold air as I made my way through parks lined with pensioners and craftsmen selling items from their homes- old medals and Soviet souvenirs, matroshkas and other Ukrainian artwork. I remember making my way up the old staircase inside the university, in to the rundown and barely heated classroom where I would study grammar and vocabulary with my teacher and sip from small plastic cups filled with hot tea.

My building- I lived on the second floor- with the enclosed balcony (which was full of ancient things belonging to the landlord)

The University building where I studied

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was that person.  Pretty much the only resemblance to that life is that I still live in a city... and right now my kitchen smells like cooked beets.
At Livadia Palace in Yalta

I had a thing about photographing Lenin statues

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