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Mon May 24, 2010 3:49 pm

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The Ukraine, by train is interesting travel story from the country Ukraine. I hope you will enjoy to read this story !!!



The process of buying a train ticket is a simple affair. You walk up to a window, state your destination, acknowledge the time of departure that is mentioned, and pay. There's you're train ticket. This system makes perfect sense worldwide, until one resolves to purchase a train ticket in the Ukraine.
There is a strange dichotomy in the queuing-habits of the average Ukrainian. They have a shop in the centre of Kiev where the best ice cream in all of the country is available. On a hot summer's day people will gladly line up and form a queue stretching up half a block, waiting over twenty minutes to order their own sweet treat. This same orderly behaviour can be witnessed at all the busier bus stops: people standing in a neat queue, patiently awaiting their turn to get on one of the brimful trolleybuses or the smaller, but equally jam-packed marshrutkas. This made me confident when I went to the train station in Sevastopol to buy myself a train ticket to Donetsk, a town in the far east of the country. Most trains in the Ukraine are overnight services, requiring all passengers to book a place ahead.
So, three days before I planned to leave the hometown of the Black Sea fleet, I walked into the station and headed for the ticket windows.
I found myself looking around for a queue to join. It took me five minutes to realise there wasn't any. As a matter of fact, I had already passed the ticket windows, mistaking them for some skirmish among locals. Then it dawned on me that the skirmish was the queue I'd been looking for.
Sevastopol train station has two ticket windows, about three meters apart. The actual windows are two insignificant slots in the wall, both manned or rather womanned by communism-craving hairy-faced grannies who'd make the witches of Eastwick look like Florence Nightingale. You don't look for the slots, you look for the crowds gathered around them. After waiting a significant amount of time and watching many people pass, I felt entitled to approach the slot and take my turn. I stooped to the midget-friendly level of the window and bowed my head further to be able to face the sales person, hiding in the twilight of the ticket both. Modestly, I stated the goal of my journey and meekly showed a handful of banknotes of the local currency to underline the seriousness of my request and the solvability of my person.
At that moment I felt the breath of a stranger on my cheek and to my surprise a big man smelling of vodka and garlic stuck his head next to mine and started to shout through the slot. Giving me no more attention than one numbing gulf of breath, he turned to the orifice in the wall. He did not ask, but demand tickets, and he struck home doing so. My last peak through the slot showed a big arm moving in the twilight writing out a ticket and handing it over. Before I'd steadied myself, another Russian tourist was ordering his ticket and I was shoved aside, engulfed by a flock of train ticket ordering veterans looking like they were perfectly willing to kill anyone or anything coming between them and their brief moment at the ticket window. I returned home undone. That night I dreamt of an eternal stay in Sevastopol, finding myself unable to book my way out of there.
The next couple of days the stroll to the train station would be part of the routine. I tried different times of day, hoping to find a moment of slow business to approach the window. I set on a bench down the hallway to make observations, trying to work out a way of getting myself the desired ticket. Of course, I made several more attempts at joining the hassle an getting a ticket. I got myself pushed around by a Ukranian peasant, laughed at by two Russian navy officers, scratched by a drewling kid on the arm of a fierce mother, spat on by a Crimean Goth girl and almost groined by her boyfriend. Most disturbingly and most humiliatingly of all, I was shouted at by a perfectly peaceful looking elderly lady. Every night the dream got more vivid. I was stuck here for ever.
Day five brought an end to the spell of bright weather I had so far been enjoying. It also brought and end to the sights left over for me to see. And it took me to the end of rereading my holiday whodunit. This terminal cocktail got me to the definite end of my patience.
Outside the train station I scribbled down my destination in the best Cyrillic I could muster. I made sure plenty of money was in the breast pocket of my shirt. I tightened the laces of my hiking boots and went in. The flock numbered seven or eight, not the worst i'd seen by far. An ugly lady with ridiculous glasses was at the counter, getting out her wallet.
I didn't wait for the change to land in her hand, I just elbowed my way ahead. I took a stand with my legs planted firmly apart, my back turned to the crowd, my arms spread wide, so I fenced off the ticket window uncompromisingly.
I did not bow to the window and the lady behind it. I just stuck the paper inside and flung some banknotes in there, too.
The ticket lady did her work quickly, efficiently and quietly. She wrote down both the time of departure and arrival of my train and held them up so I could see. To her relieve I gave a quick nod and accepted the ticket, and along with it so much change it turned out I only paid eight pounds for my seventeen hour, five hundred mile trip. I turned around and left. I was out of Sevastopol. I was a ticket buyer in the Ukraine!
There was a catch of course. She sold me a third class ticket. And third class meant her sweet revenge, I would find out only two days later. But that's a different story.




i usually like to read this kind of stories ! what you like ?

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:40 pm

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maza aya parh kar



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Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:59 pm

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to kuch post b karo

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