Day 4 – Laundry Daze and Sleepless Nights

Mama's indoor clothesline

We remember our lives back in the States when we used to wind down at the end of the day and watch a little TV or maybe catch some news.  Tonight we found ourselves instead sitting on the bathroom floor watching our front-loading washing machine to see what it would do.  It was kind of like watching a newborn.  Not too much activity, but since it’s all new and you need to learn about it, you spend lots of time observing!  The washing machine continues to vex us.  It is so vastly different from the ones in America and all the wording on it is in Russian.  While we have been able to decipher quite a few words and believe we have selected an appropriate cycle, each stage of the cycle and the transitions are still really wacky from our perspective.  Our first load took over 3 hours to wash!  It fills with only a little water and then does a couple turns and then fills with a little more water and so on and so on.  This is seriously cramping the style of this laundry master!  We do not have a dryer – no one does in Ukraine as far as we know.  Perhaps wealthy people do, but we are in a very modest apartment building near the city center.  So our clothesline is up and functional – stringing from our bedroom, down the hallway, to the bathroom at the other end of the apartment!

We did get out for a good walk today and went several blocks away and found our way home!  We walked by a McDonald’s which always seems out-of-place in a European setting, even when placed in an architecturally beautiful building.  We also walked all the way around a very stunning church, which we believe to be St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral.  We arrived serendipitously at the perfect time as a bell-ringer stood high up in the bell tower playing the bells very musically and impressively.  It was a thrill for us to see and hear as church members scurried to make it to mass on time.  We also walked through a nearby botanical garden that I am sure will be very beautiful in another month or so.  Tall trees, lots of vegetation, with paths winding throughout and a pack of dogs…  Wait a minute, that kind of blew the whole scene didn’t it? (Laughing)  I’m not kidding you.  There are “community” dogs that roam around the city and you’ll see one here and there.  Well, there were seriously a pack of them in this park and they got a little territorial at a point and started barking raucously when some people went off the path into the trees.  It caused a little scene and our kids certainly had “nice puppy” quickly wiped from their minds.  We changed our course a bit and steered away from the “property” the dogs were defending.  We also noticed homemade bird feeders hanging from the trees – crafted from 2 liter pop bottles and so on.  We feel slightly more adept at crossing streets now and believe we have gained the discernment to know what is a “good” intersection in Kyiv to cross and what is not.  We are hoping that Olivia is beginning to understand the true danger of traffic around here as pedestrians are not favored in Ukraine.

We continue to battle some jet-lag, however, dark is starting to feel more like night-time and day light more like day-time.  Even when your brain “gets it” your body resists going with the flow of the new schedule.  Speaking of which…  it is 1:15am Ukraine time and I am still pretty wide awake.  My sweet husband has captured success as he softly snores next to me.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The McEacherns
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 22:02:44

    We didn’t have an oven during our 2 weeks in Kiev either, but at least we had a grocery store (and Pizza Celantano!) close by!


    • motorcyclemama5
      Apr 06, 2011 @ 11:25:37

      We wish we had an oven and are trying to figure out what we can make on the stove top other than mac n’ cheese. We’d like to do something with eggs, but we are a little scared of them since we see them sitting out unrefrigerated in the stores. We’ve seen them sitting in a sunny window in the kiosks! Do you know anything about egg safety in Ukraine?


  2. Shannon Stewart
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 10:32:08

    LOL on the washing machine. At least you have one. We washed all of our clothes in the bathtub and then hung them over chairs and various other articles of furniture. We did have a little enclosed deck though and were able to “Freeze dry” some of them. I’m glad you got out for a walk. We enjoyed walking around Kyiv although it was raining the day we did so. It sounds like you’re getting into the swing of things. Just about the time you think you could really stay awhile, it will be time to go home.


    • motorcyclemama5
      Apr 06, 2011 @ 11:22:48

      Yes, we are VERY thankful for our washing machine, and now that I am caught up on laundry it is not a big deal to hang them to dry. I brought my camping clothesline and pins, but after the initial 3 or 4 loads to catch up, we have been able to get by with using only the drying rack that was under our bed in our apartment. The crunchy clothes are a little annoying. I brought softener (I normally just use Bounce) but I don’t know where and when to add it in the cycle. It will stain clothing if added at the wrong time. Our time is going by very quickly and our days will really fly by when we add in a trip to the orphanage every other day. We are loving our time in Kyiv.


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