Friday, August 18, 2006

at the train station

Our latest cultural experience was had today at the train station.

Lena and I went to purchase train tickets for our upcoming trip to Kiev. We stood in two separate lines to see which one would move faster. As we were standing in line I was thinking of how best to phrase the question I needed to ask. The sentences in my head were long. I was thinking things like "Excuse me, can you tell me if you have tickets from Krasnodar to Kiev on the 31st of August?". Just as I had figured this all out in my head Lena said to me ...just say "menyeh Kiev". Literally that means "me Kiev". She told me what questions I would be asked and how to answer them. I got up to the front and repeated the phrase. When I asked for the date we needed her answer was "nyet" NO!

How could she tell me no? Tom is teaching in Kiev starting on the 4th of September. We have to get there! Lena stepped in and asked for several different dates... no. no. no! We left and were about to walk over to the bus station. Suddenly, Lena remembered that she heard on the news that sometimes you will be told no when they actually do have tickets. So we turned and went back in. Only this time we went upstairs to a different cashier. She had two upper berths available on the 31st and nothing else until the 7th. We left again. There is no bus to Kiev so that was out. We went to my house and Lena called a ticket agency.

Spencer and I got out the Atlas and were trying to figure out if we could take the bus half way and then the train the rest of the way. Tom, Spencer and I were brainstorming different options while Lena was working the phone. About four or five phone calls later Lena discovered there were 4 places available on the 31st in a compartment but, I had to go today! I gathered up our passports and went downtown. I told the woman that my friend had called and she remembered the conversation and started right to work on my tickets. Thank goodness we were finally able to solve our dilemna with only two trips around the city and a few phone calls.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, we take so much for granted in the U.S.! Like being able to get somewhere. Glad you are creative enough to work it out!