Travel. I love it, but it can certainly be exhausting! We were leaving our flat at 3:30 a.m. so we knew that we would not be going to bed that night. It seems to help us with jet lag. We discovered this strategy of no sleep quite by accident the first time, and it has proven to be a good course for us. By the time we actually arrive in country and tumble into bed, we’re ready for sleep. It also helps us sleep on the plane as well.
Sooo, we get picked up, we arrive at the new terminal in Kyiv and we go through the lines to check bags and then passport control. If you have spent time in Kyiv, you know that people don’t like waiting in lines. Push to the front is the norm. Westerners tend to hold back and then are the last to go through.
Passport control has a separate line for foreigners. We felt confident that we’d get through quickly. But, that is where we hit our first snag. Laws change daily and some longstanding laws are only recently being enforced. One of these is the length of time in-country without registering. Our understanding has been that as long as you had a visa, you could stay in the country up to 90 days. Once you leave the country and return the clock starts over…another 90 days. Well, not true.
I was first at passport control and the officer told me that I had been in the country too long without registering. I knew that I hadn’t been in-country longer than 90 days. He said that I would have to go to a bank to pay the fine. Meanwhile, I gave Jim a questioning look as he stood at the head of the line. The officer invited him up to the window with me and also asked a woman in line to translate what he was saying. At that point we had 10 minutes until our flight was scheduled to leave. For some reason, the officer abruptly returned our passports and sent us on our way. No time to spare. The translator was also on our flight. As we waited for a bus to take us out to our plane we were able to thank her again. She shrugged her shoulders and said that she just does not understand why the system functions as it does and she was happy to help us.
Wheels up and on to Frankfurt.
Several hours in Frankfurt. People-watching at its best. And the small world shrunk a bit more. A woman approached us and started talking about her trip and how the last leg was a tour of Kyiv. We told her that we now lived there and she asked why. The simple answer: missionaries. She started to tell us about a relative of hers…a pastor from Delaware who had adopted two children from Ukraine. She was so surprised when we named him before she did, and told her that we had had dinner with him and his wife when they were in town. Small world, indeed.
Wheels up and on to Philadelphia. Actually a very productive flight in between catnaps. Good reading. Extremely pleasant flight attendants. Food and drink. And after eightish hours, wheels down.
Bummer that we had five hours in an airport that’s only three hours from Salisbury. But that is how the flights worked out. A thunder and lightning storm extended our time in the city of brotherly love. My goodness, travelers can be such complainers. Especially if delayed! We only hoped that Jeanne checked the schedule before heading to the airport. She had, but still arrived way ahead of us. We were so pleasantly surprised to see the whole Kotiash clan at the airport. By midnight we were home.
And the bed was so inviting. (Thanks friends in Taylorville.)
And that was Tuesday. The day we lived twice.