Ukrainian endurance

It’s Kiev. The tunnels under the main crossings, and the subway passages, are stuffed with peasants and babushkas trying to sell their measly produce to a crowd of hurried and indifferent passers-by who scarcely take any notice of them or of their exposed goods: the meager and disparate output from their gardens or kitchens, a few potatoes, a handful of parsley, a bag of kasha seeds, a dozen greasy homemade muffins, collecting the toxins from ten thousand breaths and the dust from ten thousand shoes.

I find sad and moving the steadfast, long-suffering life of these captives in the modern urban catacomb who wait during the long hours of their lightless days–hardly sheltered in the noxious galleries, perchance barely warmed by the tepid draught ascending from the subway tunnels–for the hazard to bring them some housewife who, while remembering that she needs some carrots, half dozen egss or one litre of compote, will notice their merchandise and buy some. But most of the times these serfs of poverty will have to collect their paltry stuff, almost untouched, and take it back to their far-off homes for trying again next day–the spinachs more withered, the cucombers more wrinkled and dried up…

A touching display of edurance and forbearance.



Podlasie is a stroll in the rain along the forestry park, and a sweet — sweet first kiss under the umbrella: her strangely bland lips, intensely crimson, constantly juicy, provokingly fleshy.
She in an absurd sanguine dress, all buttocks, merrily dancing and laughing along a country dirt road in Supraśl.
Her hobbit feet in purple suede shoes stepping on the mossy cobblestones of Tykocin.
She in a red gown taking the picture of a tourist who takes the picture of a ruminating cow who inevitably looks at her.

Her red laughter from the back seat of the red car.

A balneary whose decaying customers coveted her freshness, beauty and youth, while disapproving of my age; father and daughter?, satyr and nymph?

She peeping through the window of and old russian style restaurant with a well, an ancient dry tree-trunk and traditional russian music.

An orthodox church, her heavenly eyes staring at the heaven’s doors with reverence and awe.

A drowsy warm afternoon, flies buzzing around the massive wood table where she’s squatting: hot, humid and knickersless.
A silent walk in the forest looking for a cushiony place where to lay and get laid.
Her emerald-blue eyes reflecting the sky-blue sky.

She shooting at the shutters of the shelters and the sheds.

A forest road leading nowhere and her musical voice asking a peasant some impossible directions.
The heat and her odourless sweat, and her groans and her naked thigs under her uplifted skirt in the trunk of the car.
A trading post with strange, delicious food over solid wood tables, under the tree branches, right by the Belarusian border where her roots lay.
Her strawberry lips crimsoned by ripe leaking strawberries in a sunny summer day.
A little wooden room in the Hajnówka youth hostel, with a narrow bed where we love and sleep and love in inevitable close-up contact the whole night long.
A bicicle ride to Zabłudów, pursuing her hypnotic rump bottom, wrapped up in clownish rainbowed trousers; chasing the notes that her chrystal-like laughter writes in the air.
A break for lunch, and her perfect, snow-white teeth biting lipstick-red tomatoes and blood-brown kabanos.
A worn out, unfolded map of the region where she traces with her bitten-nailed fingers delicious trips that would bring us delicious memories of… Podlasia.

The Ukrainian bus adventure


The Ukrainian bus was a heap of scrap, as old and filthy as I hadn’t seen the like since the impoverished Spain of my early childhood, and it had no heating at all. It took us eight hours to cover the little more than 200 km between Lviv and Lublin. Those experienced passengers among us, the acquainted with the conditions, were cautious enough to wear warm clothings or blankets; but, for me, the trip meant eight hours of static and inescapable freeze, as if nothing walled me from the snowy landscapes visible through the filthy windows. The procedures in the border took close to three hours. When we finally arrived, I was stiff and frigid like a frozen cod. However, during all the trip the passengers behaved like a big family, showing a praiseworthy solidarity.

Travelling in Ukraine is always an unforgettable adventure.