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Lviv - day one - William Matheson's Journal

Oct. 10th, 2005

05:27 pm - Lviv - day one

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And here I am in Lviv! I think it's the most beautiful city I've ever been in, next to Krakow. It's old, very old. And in terms of traffic, think of it as downtown Halifax, but somehow narrower, and ten times more conjested. It's rather funny, actually. People just do what they need to do. I saw an electric bus go off one of its power rails (there was quite a spark), but this didn't slow things down for long – the woman bus driver, who looked quite in control of the situation, casually walked to the back of the bus and applied her thick gloves and elbow grease to a lever which allowed her to yank the errant arm back into position.

In that same area, I found a restauraunt that seemed to specialize in «Canadian» cuisine. (I think my quotes are going to be cyrillic-style today, at least until I get out of OpenOffice. Sorry.) It boasted the name Toronto Cafe. Maybe I should eat there, but what I really, really want is Western-style pizza.

The drive here was awesome. We got to see a lot of hair-raising Ukrainian driving, including a construction site where the highway was reduced to one lane, which ordnairily isn't a problem except that it was located on a corner and there wasn't a flagperson. «So it's just-take-your-chances?» Yep.

Also, one should allow for more travelling time in Ukraine than in Canada, as our average speed was about 60km/h. There are plenty of places where the road is smooth enough to go faster (until you get behind a tractor or horse-drawn wagon or aging Volga), and there are even dual carriageways in places (with hilarious methods of getting on and off of them – I've only seen one grade-separated interchange outside of Kyiv so far), but the natural gas engine seemed to make so much protest the odd times we ventured above 65 that I guess we had to take it easy. It was a fun ride, and I got a lot of pictures.

Roch is leaving from here to go to Poland, so we had our goodbyes with him earlier. I hope to see him again in Duncan Cove someday. I still remember Duncan Cove – it was priceless. They sometimes don't take kindly to strangers, though. I don't think they trust people from Halifax-Dartmouth-Bedford. So be respectful, or adopt a German accent, ja?

I think Lviv needs to be described in pictures more than words. And so does Duncan Cove.

"The terrorists win." I think CounterStrike is the national passtime here, at least among teenagers with too much time on their hands.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative


Date:October 10th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)


Hi William,

I'm not sure if this is the best option for writing to you. Do you also have an e-mail address which you check regularly? It's another rainy day on PEI. Unfortunately, no golf on the holiday week-end. We just checked your latest journal entry which Shirley is reading before she goes to work evenings at the hospital. I'm correcting Visual Basic assignments and waiting for some of the nieces and nephews to arrive for a visit.

Uncle Shane

Here's Shirley's note to you:

Dear William,

Happy Thanksgiving to the Canuck in the Ukraine! Hope all is well with you as your adventure continues.

I enjoy reading your on-line journal. You are gifted with a command of the English language. You didn't inherit that from your aunt!

We hosted the family (Mom, George, Melaney, Ila, & Rae) for Thanksgiving dinner after church service here in Souris yesterday. Turkey, with all the trimmings, went over well. Then, at supper time, Shane and I joined the MacClure gang at Louise's for another feast! I'm glad that turkey is a favourite meal of mine.

It has been a rainy week-end. Today I'm off to work at 3:00 pm for time and a half, the joys of holiday shifts.

I was golfing last week (I shot 98!). My number of games is down from last year, though. Working, biking, chores, etc. get in the way of golf rounds sometimes. However, happily, I can say that I had my lowest round ever and I played enough to pay for my membership.

We watched your DVD the other night. Good camera work. Glad to hear that you got such high marks.

Ila and Rae are cute as ever. They have new fall coats - same style, blue - very cute. Rae is still not pronouncing her "c" and "k" so we have to help her improve at that. I must look for a book about cows or cats and read more to her.

Kristie Llewellyn gets married this Saturday. Earl and family are here from Ontario for the wedding. Mom is invited and I'm going as her companion.

Aunt Muriel turns 100 in January so they are starting to plan for her birthday party.

Not much new down at Neil's. I did not see any of them this past week-end but I'll see them at the upcoming wedding.

So, how are your finances holding out? Let me know if you are running short. Do you look for postal mail or mostly e-mail? It seems easier to send electronic mail. What about Christmas? Belated gifts again this year ... or a nice package in the mail?

Take care. Miss you. Love,


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Date:October 14th, 2005 12:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Thanksgiving

Hi! Great to hear from you! For the record (and I direct this information to everyone), I can still and always can be reached at my regular e-mail: me@willmatheson.com. That address currently forwards into my GMail account, which I can use wherever there is internet access.

I'll reply with a more thoughtful answer (and not on an LJ comment! =) but I would like to tell everyone that we didn't even really know it was Thanksgiving - I think we managed to wish eash other a Happy Thanksgiving, but that was about it. Along with Halloween, they're just not observed here. Even Christmas falls on January 7th, as the Orthodox church still follows the Julian calendar.
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